Burglary conspiracy busted

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu.

Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu. (Photo: File)

When a conspiracy to commit a crime goes wrong and you end up being arrested, the end result is Tafa’igata Prison.

That’s the lesson Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, has taught two men whom he has jailed over a conspiracy to steal from the Twins Supermarket at Vailele.

The sentencing of Fa’afili Isaia of Vaitele-uta and Patamea and Sigivao Solomona of Vaitele-fou and Salelavalu was delivered last week.

Isaia, 26, and Solomona, 48, pleaded guilty to a joint charge of burglary. 

Isaia pleaded guilty to an additional charge of theft as a servant.

According to the prosecution’s summary of facts confirmed, the accused were employed at the Twins Supermarket at Vailele. Solomona was a Security officer.

“On the night of 23 December 2016 between 10:00pm and 11:00pm, Fa’afili went to the complainant’s compound and told Sigivao that he is going inside the supermarket to steal some things as he knows a door of the supermarket that is usually not locked,” the Justice Patu’s sentencing reads.

 “Fa’afili then went inside the supermarket while Sigivao stood outside to keep watch of anyone coming. Fa’afili entered the supermarket and stole $1,700. When he came out, he gave $200 to Sigivao. A few days later both accused were arrested by the police.”

According to the pre-sentence report Isaia, he is single and he left school at Year 12 when his parents migrated to New Zealand. 

“His older brother told the probation service that Fa’afili is a hardworking member of their family but his weakness is getting drunk which might have caused him to commit the present offences. 

Solomona is also single and he left school at Year 12 due to financial hardship.

“He has worked as security for several companies. His brother told the probation service that Sigivao is an honest and reliable person. Sigivao told the probation service that the money he received from Fagafili was returned to the police.”

Chief Justice Patu expressed concerns about the men betraying the trust of their employer.

“In respect of Fa’afili, the aggravating features of his offending is the breach of his employer’s trust, the fact that he initiated this offending, and the fact that he gained more financially from this offending than his co-offender. 

“The mitigating features relating to Fa’afili as offender is the fact that he has been a person of good character prior to this offending and his early guilty plea.

 “In respect of Sigivao, the aggravating feature of his offending is that he was at the material time he was employed as a security for the complainant supermarket. So a high level of trust was placed in him but he breached that trust. 

“The mitigating feature of his offending is that he returned the money that he received to the police. So he did not gain from this offending. The mitigating features relating to Sigivao as offender is the fact that he was a person of good character prior to this offending and his early guilty plea.”

In the end, Fa’afili Isaia was sentenced to six months imprisonment to be followed by attending the six week Toe Afua Se Taeao Fou programme conducted by the probation service for his alcohol problem. 

Sigivao Solomona on the other hand has been jailed for six months on the joint burglary charge.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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