Matanga: Backhoe incident relates to family violence - Solomon Star News

Matanga: Backhoe incident relates to family violence

16 November 2018
Supervising Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga.


SUPERVISING Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga says the recent incident at Coral Sea Resort in Honiara involving a man who damaged the hotel’s reception using a Backhoe excavator relates to family violence.

Ms Matanga said it is an act of violence that someone was unable to manage his emotional feelings towards his wife.

“The case becomes quite a major incident because of the manner in which he approached the situation using a Backhoe.

“But he did not realise it also affects his career,” she said.

Ms Matanga denied the act as terrorism when asked by a journalist if it relates to terrorism given that the man drove the Backhoe recklessly into an area where there were a lot of people.

 “Probably in other countries they could termed that as terrorist attack.

“But in small place like ours, I would say it is one of a family violence attack,” she said.

According to Wikipedia’s definition for Terrorism, “Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against peacetime targets or in war against non-combatants.”

Ms Matanga added that as Solomon Islanders everyone know family violence is usually not the forefront subject in public domain.

She said now it has become a public subject for everyone especially for them working at law enforcement dealing with the family violence Act in support with other ministries.

“This has become an issue for us because it indicates to us family violence is common and high in our country.

“.....and it is important that those who involved in family violence must continue to seek help from people who can assist them.

“We have the Churches, we have Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), we have groups that can provide counselling, families and relatives who can support them if they go through such family issues,” she said.

Ms Matanga urged people who have such issues to always seek help to avoid affecting people that are important in our lives.

The man involved in the incident on 11 November 2015 at the Coral Sea Resort has been remanded in custody and waiting to appear in court again on November 27.

Davidson Irofinao is facing one count of malicious damage and five counts of intimidation.

According to the allegation, he had an argument with his ex-wife who was an employee of the hotel prior to the alleged incident.

It was alleged he tried to contact his ex-wife by calling the hotel’s telephone and became furious at her and the hotel staff when his attempts to contact her failed.

Irofinao who as allegedly works for Solomon Water as an operator then took a Backhoe from SIWA staff who were working that afternoon and went to the hotel.

He allegedly sped recklessly into the hotel lobby with the Backhoe towards the guests who were spending and enjoying the facilities there.

Prosecution alleged he scared them off with the blade and allegedly damaged properties worth at more than $290,000.

It was further alleged that during the rampage, he stopped for a few seconds beside the reception counter where he came out and threw a bucket containing petrol onto the reception floor.

He then went into the Backhoe continuing damaging properties in the lobby before taking off and later surrendered himself to police.