11 Mar 2009

Fijian man pleads guilty to manslaughter of NZ woman in Fiji

9:14 pm on 11 March 2009

A Fiji man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a New Zealand woman, who died during her honeymoon in Fiji.

Rebecca Stockwell of Blenheim died after she was hit by a boat while snorkelling with her husband, in the waters off the Matamanoa Island Resort in Fiji in November, 2007.

A boat labourer, Tomasi Natutuvuli Tovou, aged 27, who was driving the boat which hit Mrs Stockwell appeared in court yesterday, charged with her manslaughter.

Today, he pleaded guilty, and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Rebecca Stockwell's father, Mark Crawley says the defence tried to have the charges downgraded, which delayed the start of the trial, but it finally went ahead after the court refused.

He says he understands a prison term for the boat driver is unlikely.