Man guilty of kidnapping, and stealing govt. vehicle

A man accused of kidnapping a two-year-old boy from his home at Manono-uta using a stolen government vehicle has pleaded guilty to the charges.

Anthony Taime faced five charges to which he has pleaded guilty.

They include kidnapping, stealing a government vehicle, driving without a license, reckless driving and trespassing.

According to the Police summary of facts, on 16 June 2017, the accused stole a brand new Toyota Hilux belonging to the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C).

He headed towards Manono-uta where he took a 2-year-old boy without permission. 

That is where he also trespassed, as he was not supposed to have set foot on the land.

The man then drove recklessly at Manono-uta using the stolen vehicle with the number plate, E.P.C 16.

Taime appeared before Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu yesterday where he entered the guilty plea. 

He did not have a lawyer.

Chief Justice Patu has rescheduled the matter for Monday 28 August 2017 for sentencing before Justice Lei’ataualesa Daryl Clarke.

According to the Acting Assistant Police Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu Sala’a, the matter surfaced when the Police at Faleolo received a call about a government vehicle that had crashed in front of Le Vasa Resort at Apolima-uta.

 “When Police arrived at the scene, they realised that the driver of the vehicle had escaped,” he said. “They also found that the vehicle was stolen from one of the workers home where it was parked the night before.”

The next day, a mother reported that her two-year-old son had gone missing.

 “According to the mother’s statement, they were sleeping with her son but when she woke up the next day her son was gone,” Sala’a said.

“The police then searched for the missing boy. They found that there is a connection between the man accused of stealing the car and the boy that went missing from his home.

“The man accused of stealing the car is the biological father of the two-year-old that went missing from his home.”

A full blown police search was launched.

 “The police conducted a searched and found the accused and the missing boy at one of the villages around the Asau District in Savai’i.

“They were escorted back to Upolu and the boy has been returned to his mother. The accused is remanded in custody.”

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