26 Oct 2007

Former Fiji navy commander Kean jailed for 18 months for manslaughter

2:35 pm on 26 October 2007

The former Fiji navy commander, Francis Kean, has been jailed for 18 months for the manslaughter of a 31-year old salesman in December last year.

Kean had pleaded guilty to the charge before Justice Gerard Winter.

Radio Legend reports that in passing sentence, Justice Winter noted that the victim, John Whippy, was drunk on the night of December 31 last year and was swearing at people as he was leaving the Suva Yacht Club where a wedding had taken place.

Justice Winter said Whippy then swore at Kean who stopped the taxi Whippy was in and punched him.

Kean then pulled him out of the taxi and kicked him.

Justice Winter said Whippy died because of the assault and Kean being a navy man should have acted responsibly instead of losing his temper.

The judge said Kean should have warned the victim or just walked away as Whippy was drunk at the time.

He said he could not consider a non-custodial sentence as maximum force was used by Kean who could have avoided causing the death if he had controlled his temper.