Serial burglar gets jailed for over 5 years

A serial burglar has been sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment by the Supreme Court.

Twenty-nine-year-old Pati Chong Nee of Aleisa and Afiamalu was sentenced by Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa in the Supreme Court yesterday afternoon.

The judge said she felt compelled to hand down a stronger sentence as the accused was “addicted to crimes such as burglary and theft” and he did not learn from previous custodial sentences.

“You are still committing these kinds of crimes and that tells me you are not learning a single lesson from all of these things. This shows someone who does not love his country, you don’t care about the law because you are so addicted to this kind of life.

“Prison has become a go to place for you, but I just want to tell you that you will not get anything in this life if this is how you chose to live. It also shows you do not have any love for your family as well as your parents,” said the Judge.

The court heard that on June 12 this year, the accused burgled three different homes in a day and one of the victims was the Newton family, who were victims on more than one occasion.

On that day, at about 4.30 pm to 4.45 pm at Ululoloa, the defendant was seen on the property of Su’a Tanielu without any lawful reason and was holding a machete. When the accused saw a staff member of the resort he fled the scene.

On the same day Leone Newton was preparing an evening meal when she saw the defendant walking in front of the veranda of her home. She then asked the defendant who he was, but the defendant mumbled and she did not hear what he said. 

She tried to close the door as the accused attempted to open it. The locker at the bottom of the door shut and made it difficult for the accused to open the door.

The accused then used the machete that he had in his possession and started to cut the screen wire of the door, the victim then started screaming and ran to the house of one of her children next door.

The accused then unlawfully entered the house of the second victim without her consent.

The family of the victim then came to help and saw the accused inside the house and tried to look for a way out. He then used the machete to smash the window and escaped through it. 

On the same day between 11.00 am and 6.00 pm, the accused went to the house of the third victim Uairarapa – who was not at home – removed two window blades next to the toilet and entered the house unlawfully. 

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