Twenty four year old Tanimo Peto of Sinamoga walked free from the Supreme Court yesterday after Justice Lesatele Va’ai decided not to impose a custodial sentence on him.
Despite Prosecution seeking a custodial penalty of 18 months, Justice Lesatele decided not to send Peto to jail but to take into account his father’s request to impose a monetary penalty.
Peto appeared for sentencing yesterday after pleading guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm.
Also in court was his father, Mr Peto Laifai of Sinamoga who asked for the court’s leniency not to impose a custodial penalty for his son.
“I humbly ask for a monetary penalty for my son and not to send him to prison because he and his wife are the only ones looking after me at home,” pleaded Mr Laifai.
Peto was in tears as he told the court that he is deeply remorseful for what happened and being in custody had taught him a big lesson because he said, that place is not a good place for him.
“Your Honour, I can’t afford to go back to jail but I can afford to pay any fine given to me.”
Justice Lesatele said this kind of offence is becoming very common in Samoa.
He told the accused that his victim had been taken to the hospital as a result of his actions, and he has had to report to the hospital every week for four weeks.
“You didn’t offer to apologize, to pay any of those expenses or apologize to the victim and this shows a lack of remorse from you.”
However, some of the mitigating factors that the court took into account in favour of the accused were the fact he is a first offender, his age and his ability to pay a substantial fine.
Peto is 24 years of age, was in steady employment before this incident happened and the court also considered his father’s plea.
“I have decided not to give a custodial sentencing but will give a penalty to reflect the seriousness of this kind of offence.”
Tanimo Peto was convicted and sentenced to 12 months probation. He was also ordered to attend any anger management programme conducted by the Probation Office and any other related programmes.
Peto was ordered to pay a fine of $1000 for police costs through the Probation Office to be paid $200 monthly with the first payment to be made on the 20th September 2016.