Man admits setting wife on fire

An Indo-Fijian origin man has pleaded guilty in a New Zealand court to a charge of murdering his wife last year.

Diwesh Kumar Sharma was arrested from Fiji by New Zealand Police, on charges of murdering his wife, 28-year old Ranjeeta Sharrma, by setting her on fire in an attack. She died on the side of a Huntly road in January last year. She was cremated in her hometown of Nadi in Fiji.

Just a day after Ranjeeta’s body was found, the 29-year old Sharma fled the country with his four-year old son.

Soon after being detained by Fiji police and brought back to New Zealand, he was sent to a mental health facility for a psychiatric check up, and his lawyer told reporters that Diwesh was fit to plead in the court.

Ranjeeta had come to New Zealand only five years ago and was working as a nurse at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital.

As many as 39% of New Zealand women suffer physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to a study by Janet Fanslow and Elizabeth Robinson.

Police estimate only 18% of domestic violence incidents are reported.


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