Court jails trio for unprovoked attack

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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SUPREME COURT OF SAMOA: Three men from Satapuala were convicted and sentenced to prison for grievous bodily harm and burgulary charges.

SUPREME COURT OF SAMOA: Three men from Satapuala were convicted and sentenced to prison for grievous bodily harm and burgulary charges. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

Three men convicted of grievous bodily harm and burglary, have been jailed.

The men from Satapuala were sentenced in by Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren. 

They were in Court on two joint charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one charge of burglary. 

The accused, Falani and Laumata, are each being sentenced on an additional charge each of intentional damage. 

They pleaded guilty to the charges on 26 March 2018.

According to the Prosecution summary of facts, on 6 September 2017, the two victims were sleeping after work at about 4pm. 

They heard someone swearing outside their house. 

When they went outside to look, the accused, Falani, entered their house and threw a rock at one of the victims.

Ieremia also entered the house of the victims and started beating up the first victim. 

Laumata entered the house with a rock and tried to punch the first victim in the face. 

“Ieremia and Falani both started hitting the first victim on the head with rocks. The first victim lost consciousness."

“Laumata then damaged the victim’s stereo while Falani struck the victim’s flat screen television with a rock."

“The second victim, who had been chased away, entered the house and Laumata was sitting on the first victim trying to gorge out his eyeballs. The second victim tried to tackle Laumata off the first victim." 

“Falani grabbed a steel chair and struck the second victim on the head. The second victim lost consciousness. Laumata then took the chair and continued to hit the second victim."

“The neighbours intervened and stopped the beatings."

“The first victim suffered a laceration on the scalp, multiple lacerations on the head, lacerations on the face and left side of the back, laceration on the left arm, cut on the left ankle and abrasions on the face and body. The second victim suffered a swollen and bruised right eye, mid forearm fracture and a laceration on the head."

“The total value of the damaged TV is $300 and the stereo is $1, 500,” stated Justice Tafaoimalo. 

 The aggravating features of this offending is the home invasion whereby the accused entered the home of the victims and beat them inside their own home. 

Other aggravating feature includes: “They damaged property of significant monetary value, it was an unprovoked attack started by the accused, the injuries sustained by the victims were not minor and the victims both lost consciousness while beaten, there were multiple attackers, being four accused against the two victims and they used a steel chair and rocks.”

Justice Tafaoimalo took into account the testimonials in their favour and their personal circumstances, their belated guilty pleas, the reconciliation with the first victim and their remorse expressed in Court.

 Justice Tafaoimalo pointed out this is yet another case of senseless unprovoked violence fuelled by alcohol. It is fortunate that the victims survived the group attack.  

All three accused are convicted of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm and one count of burglary and sentenced to one year and two months imprisonment, said Justice Tafaoimalo. 

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