A man who attacked an off duty Police Officer outside a local nightclub has been given six months at Tafa’igata Prison to learn his lesson.
Nofoa Ainu’u was sentenced to six months imprisonment in connection to the assault. The sentence was handed down by Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu this week.
Ainu’u of Faleapuna and Moamoa appeared for sentencing on one charge of causing actual bodily harm. He also faced one charge of possession of narcotics.
According to the summary of facts, on 1 October 2017, shortly after midnight, the victim was walking back to the R.S.A. nightclub when the accused punched him on the jaw.
The victim fell down on the road and was unconscious.
“The accused then fled the scene leaving the victim unconscious on the road. The security guards from the R.S.A. and National Bank who saw what happened carried the victim onto a pick up vehicle and took him to the hospital.
“The victim was found to have suffered a laceration on his head. The accused was apprehended from the Fugalei Market by the Police the same night and taken to the Apia Police Station. When searched by the Police, a half marijuana joint was found on the accused.”
Ainu’u told the probation service and the Court that at the time of this incident, he had been drinking with some of his cousins.
He said the victim demanded that he give him the beer. The accused also claimed the victim demanded that he should respect him because he is a Policeman.
Ainu’u did not mind what the victim said to him but his cousins told him that they did not like the victim’s attitude.
“This made the accused angry towards the victim and was the reason for him punching the victim.
His Honour Patu noted that a significant amount of force was used by the accused when he punched the victim; otherwise the victim would not have fallen down and became unconscious.
“There was also some degree of premeditation for the accused followed the victim and his friend across the road from the R.S.A. to the National Bank and when the victim was returning to the R.S.A. the accused punched him.”
According to His Honour, because the accused’s offending involved alcohol and possession of narcotics, he was referred to the Alcohol and Drugs Court clinician for screening.
“This was followed by a further assessment and eventually acceptance into the ADC programme which he started on 7 November 2017.
“He completed 12 weeks on the Intensive Programme and four weeks of the eight weeks Relapse Programme.
“He then did not complete the last phase of his treatment and behavioural plan and did not attend the last four weeks of his Relapse Programme or his last scheduled ADC monitoring.
“In consequence, he was exited from the ADC on 27 April 2018 for non-compliance.
“A warrant was also issued against him for his arrest for breaching his bail conditions. He has now been referred back to this Court for sentencing,” stated the Chief Justice.
“The victim also seemed to have been unaware that the accused was going to punch him.
“Apart from falling down unconscious, the victim also suffered a laceration which necessitated his being taken to the hospital. The accused then fled the scene leaving the victim unconscious.”
The Chief Justice ordered that for the charge of causing actual bodily harm, the accused is convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment.
“For the charge of possession of narcotics, accused is convicted and ordered to perform 20 hours community service after he has served his sentence of six months imprisonment.”