Man jailed over Rendezvous robbery

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene 01 February 2018, 12:00AM

A 22-year -old man from Lepa, Aleipata and Apia has been jailed for 18 months for theft and burglary.

Agasii Fuimaono was jailed by the Chief Justice, his Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu.

Fuimaono was one of the four defendants who broke into the Rendezvous Restaurant & Bar at Maluafou and took over $11,000 worth of electronic tools last year.

The other two defendants are under 16-years and their cases have been referred to the Youth Court. The prosecutor was Lealofioamoa Mamaia of the Attorney General’s Office.

According to the Police summary of facts, on 23 September 2017 at around 2 a.m, the defendant and his three friends went to the Rendezvous Restaurant at Maluafou while the place was closed.

Two of the defendant’s friends took out window louvers and went inside while the defendant and his other friend waited outside.

They stole a Samsung Sound System, Projector, Sonic Stereo, box with wires for the karaoke system and alcohol. The total cost of the stolen items rounded up to $11,879.00.

Chief Justice Patu told the defendant he did not believe a single word he had told the Probation officer when he was questioned.

“According to the Probation officer, you told them that two days later after the incident you heard that the Police are looking for those who broke into the Rendezvous,” said Chief Justice Patu.

“Therefore you and the same friends brought all the stolen items at around 2am and put it under a garden next to the restaurant to wait for the right time to put back the belongings inside the restaurant."

“You then left to go to the seawall at Apia, however, upon your return at about 3am someone took the stolen items that you left at the garden."

“When you were asked by the Court about what you told the Probation officer, the Court did not believe your answers."

“Therefore the Court does not take into consideration the statement you gave to the Probation officer."

“You also told them that you returned five bottles of hard liquor to the owner of the restaurant, but when the court questioned you, you said you gave it to the Police officers.”

The defendant has previous convictions of similar nature.

“During the time of the offense you were working at a family plantation,” said Chief Justice.

“You have previous convictions of similar offense and it was on the 20th September, 2017 you were serving 80 hours of community work as ordered by the court."

“However, three days later you reoffend again with your friends.”

Chief Justice Patu told the defendant that it is very hard to accept what his mother had said about his good character.

“It is also very hard that you are fully remorseful because it shows with your action of reappearing again in court for similar offense,” said Chief Justice.

“You are not remorseful and you did not tell the court whether you are remorseful or not.”

“The victim of the offense is the owner of the restaurant and this was his main income was through his restaurant."

“The restaurant is now closed because of what you stole because these were the main products that are used in the restaurant."

“And the estimated loss of this restaurant is approximately $50,000.”

In reading out the aggravating features Chief Justice took into consideration the cost of the stolen items, as well as the impact that the offense has had on the owner as a result he had to close down his restaurant.

As mitigating factors the court considered the defendant’s early guilty plea.

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene 01 February 2018, 12:00AM

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