“This is your last chance,” Justice Lesatele warns thief

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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In the Supreme Court yesterday, a 35-year-old father charged with theft, pleaded for mercy before Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai. 

Ianuari Maoa’e is from Sagone and Satapuala.

Employed by Frankies Wholesale as a delivery man, he was charged with theft from his employer between 31st May to the 1st July 2016.

The Police Summary of Facts says he took two boxes of Bongos and a box of Palmolive shampoo from his delivery truck, and sold them to a Chinese shop for $232.

Later he admitted he’d spent the money on his own personal needs.

When he appeared in court for sentencing, Ianuari Maoa’e begged for a second chance saying he would prove he was a changed man. 

He told the court: “I am sorry for what happened, and I seek Your Honour’s mercy for another chance.”

And then he pleaded. “It is just me, my wife and children, and I am the only one who provides for them.”

In response, Justice Lesatele told Maoa’e if he cared about his wife and his children, he would not have committed this offence. 

Lesatele also reminded the defendant that theft had become a rising problem and there were always people appearing in court charged with stealing.

He said it was common knowledge that those employed by companies will always think of ways to steal from them. 

Justice Lesatele said this kind of behavior is unacceptable. 

“You have breached the trust of your employer,” he explained. “So this is your last chance. “Consider it as your first and last chance because it’s not a substantial amount unlike other cases involving substantial amounts.” 

Ianuari was convicted and given 12 months probation under the supervision of the Probation Office.  He was also told to do 20 hours community service and fined $400. The fine would be paid at $100 a month, with the first payment to be made on 30 August, 2016.Payment is to be made directly to the Probation Office.

Justice Lesatele made it clear to the defendant this was his last chance, and reminded him that theft as a servant carried the maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. 

Lesatele also reminded the defendant that theft has become a rising problem and there were always people in court facing the same offence. Those employed by companies will always think of ways to steal from them, he added. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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