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Judge pleads to parents to watch their children

District Court Judge Alalatoa Rosella Viane-Papali'i has urged parents to supervise their children at all times.

She made the call yesterday during the sentencing of Rose Ah Leong (see story).

Seven-year-old Loimata Vaialofa was walking from Sunday school to church last month when she was hit by a car, and suffered a traumatic brain injury causing her death. Ah Leong was sentenced yesterday to a years’ probation and ordered to pay $1,000 in fines.

During the sentencing, the Judge said the victim’s mother, acknowledged her part in her child’s death.

“She accepted her negligence in not supervising her child properly,” Judge Alalatoa said. “It is the duty of parents to be with their children on the roads.”

She said despite efforts to curb the problem, there are bound to be drivers going at excessive speeds on the roads.

Parents should walk with their children on the roads at all times, before they are old enough to judge the road safely themselves.

“We don’t know what is the minds of young ones, we cannot control them,” said the judge.

To Ah Leong, she said if her attention had been on the roads properly, she would have seen the child and not hit her.

“She didn’t know any better and walked out onto the road, and your mind was elsewhere,” she said. Regardless of the child’s supervision, accountability for her death lies with Ah Leong.

“This child will never get to see the gifts of life that God had in store for her,” said Judge Alalatoa.

“A life has been irreparably lost.”

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