Rapist gets another 10 months for smuggling

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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TAFAIGATA PRISON: Werner Tofilau tried to smuggle marijuana into the prison in five loaves of bread, which he bought at Vaitele on his way back to the correctional facility after visiting family.

TAFAIGATA PRISON: Werner Tofilau tried to smuggle marijuana into the prison in five loaves of bread, which he bought at Vaitele on his way back to the correctional facility after visiting family. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

A criminal currently behind bars for sexual assault has been given another 10 months for attempting to smuggle drugs into Tafa’igata prison.

Thirty-five-year-old Werner Tofilau of Iva is serving an eight-year sentence for rape and indecent assault and was scheduled to be released in 2022.

But he re-offended on April 23 this year when he tried to smuggle marijuana into the prison in five loaves of bread, which he bought at Vaitele on his way back to the correctional facility after visiting family. 

Appearing before Chief Justice Tiavasu’e Falefatu Sapolu recently, the judge said the only mitigating factor in relation to the accused was his early guilty plea but it was not accepted.

“The only mitigating feature relating to the accused as offender is his early guilty plea. I do not accept the accused’s apology and expression of remorse. I do not believe that he is truly remorseful,” the Chief Justice said, while noting 12 months as the starting point for the sentence. 

“I will add on two months for the previous convictions. That increases the starting point to 14 months. I will then deduct four months for the early guilty plea. That leaves 10 months. The accused is convicted and sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment. This sentence is to be cumulative on the present sentence of eight years imprisonment served by the accused.”

 According to the prosecution’s summary of facts on Monday, April 23, 2018 at around 5pm, a correctional officer escorted the accused to visit his family at Vailoa. On their return to Tafaigata prison, the accused told the correctional officer to stop at a shop at Vaitele for him to buy some bread. 

The accused bought five loaves of broad which were placed in a bag. 

“When the accused came out of the shop, he continued with the correctional officer to Tafaigata prison. On arrival at the prison, one of the prison guards divided one of the loaves of bread into two halves. He found five small plastic bags containing marijuana leaves concealed inside the bread. The total weight of these marijuana leaves is 6.2 grams and is estimated to yield eight marijuana joints,” stated the prosecution’s summary. 

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