A man from Vaiusu who stabbed another man with a screwdriver while he was drunk has been jailed for two years and three months.
Isitolo Ioane was convicted for assault and sentenced by Chief Justice, his Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu.
The defendant faced six charges; including causing grievous bodily injury with intent; throwing stones to endanger a person; two counts of being armed with a dangerous weapon; causing actual bodily harm with intent and assault.
He pleaded guilty to the charges. Ioane appeared before the Alcohol and Drugs Court (A.D.C.) clinician for screening because his offending was alcohol related.
“The A.D.C. clinician recommended that the accused be referred back to her for further assessment.
“The recommendation by the clinician was accepted. After further assessment, the accused was referred to the A.D.C. for a determination hearing where the accused was accepted into the A.D.C. rehabilitation and treatment programmes.
The accused completed twelve weeks of the intensive programme and five weeks of the eight week relapse programme.
From the bench, the Chief Justice noted there were some discrepancies between the prosecution summary of facts and the version given by the accused to the probation service of what happened in this incident and which appears in the pre-sentence report.
“The accused maintained before this Court that what he told the probation service is the correct version of what happened.
“Counsel for the prosecution then agreed to proceed on the basis of what the accused had told the probation service except that the accused did throw a stone at the victim but missed, which was admitted by the accused before this Court.
“The accused told the probation service that on the night of this incident, he was drinking beer at a bar. He left the bar around 11pm to return home at Vaiusu.
“When he arrived home, he went to a shop at Vaiusu to buy cigarettes. It was there that the accused saw the victim and several village youths drinking alcohol in front of the shop.
“As the accused was walking back to his home, the victim and his friends followed him. He was then punched by the victim who ran off with his friends. “The accused gave chase. He picked up a screwdriver which he found beside the footpath and continued to chase after the victim and his friends. “Unfortunately for the victim, he tripped and fell down,” stated the Chief Justice.
The accused then started punching and stabbing the victim with the screwdriver while the victim was lying on the ground.
“The accused told the probation service that he stabbed the victim on his leg, on his back, and on his side. The victim pleaded with the accused that he wanted to live; someone who passed by found the accused sitting on the victim and removed him. The Police were called and the accused was arrested the same night.”
The victim was admitted at the hospital for 10 days.
“The pre-sentence report also shows that the accused has not been totally honest with the probation service. He told the probation service that his family visited the victim whilst in the hospital and a monetary gift and a fine mat was presented by his family to the victim’s family for reconciliation.
“However, the victim’s mother told the probation service that whilst the accused’s father made regular visits to the victim at the hospital, she denies that her family has received any monetary gifts or fine mat from the accused’s family.
“The accused also told the probation service that he was penalised by his village and fined $400 and his family has presented $400 to the village.
“The pulenuu of Vaiusu confirmed to the probation service that the village fined the accused $400, but his family has only paid $200.
“The accused further told the probation service that the victim has been banished by the village because of his involvement in this matter.
“This is denied by the victim’s mother and the pulenuu of Vaiusu.”
According to the Chief Justice, the accused has a previous conviction dated 12 December 2016 for misleading and resisting the Police for which he was convicted and discharged. The defendant was sentenced to two years and three months in jail.