25th February 10:26 PM
Yogesh Lal who murdered wife in Wainikoro, Labasa given mandatory life imprisonment
By Naveel Krishant
Thursday 13/02/2020

40-year-old Yogesh Lal who brutally murdered his 34-year-old wife Saleshni Devi last August in Wainikoro in Labasa has been given a mandatory life sentence by High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Goundar.

While sentencing the man via Skype from the Suva High Court this morning, Justice Goundar has set a minimum of 24 years to be served before he can apply for a pardon.

Justice Goundar says Lal and Devi were married for 18 years and had 3 young children.

He says 2 months before the killing, Devi had moved to her family home in Wainikoro.

Justice Goundar says on the evening of the incident, Lal travelled from his home in Daku, Labasa to Devi’s home in a bus and had taken a cane knife with him.

The Judge says Lal disconnected the electricity and hid at the back of the house and when Devi came out to check the main switchboard, Lal sneaked from behind and struck Devi on the head with the cane knife.

Justice Goundar further says Devi sustained injuries to her hand and head adding that Devi’s mother rushed to her daughter’s rescue  but Lal pushed her away.

The Judge adds the mother pleaded with Lal to spare her daughter from harm but he did not listen.

It was heard in court that despite being seriously injured, Devi ran inside the house for safety but Lal pursued her and struck her several times.

She passed away at the scene.

Justice Goundar also says that after killing Devi, Lal returned to his home and called his immediate family and friends and told them  what he had done.

He says that Lal had also told Police that he was involved in a maintenance dispute with the wife after they had separated and that his wife was threatening to kill him and settle down with another person in Suva with their youngest child.

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