14 Oct 2005

Assailant of Australian diplomat gets four years in Fiji jail

11:15 am on 14 October 2005

The Suva High Court has imposed a four-year prison sentence on the 20-year-old man who brutally assaulted and robbed the Australian High Commissioner in Fiji.

Jennifer Rawson suffered multiple fractures to her jaw and other serious injuries when she was repeatedly punched during her early morning walk on January 8th this year.

She had to be medically evacuated by air ambulance to Australia the same day for treatment and returned to her post after recovery many weeks later.

Justice Anthony Gates said evidence presented to the court shows Ms Rawson still suffers from her injuries which cause persistent pain, impede her work and are likely to require further surgery.

He initially sentenced Panapasa Salua to seven years in prison but reduced it to four years after taking into account his guilty plea show of remorse and the almost one year he has already spent in custody.