Prison for brutal beating of Fijian student
Two young men Barry Mafi and Ashley Wilson were sent to prison for four years after they pleaded guilty to the charge of grievous bodily harm.
The matter was brought before His Honour, Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu yesterday in the Supreme Court.
Mafi and Wilson were charged together with others for beating up a Fijian student on 6th February 2016.
Mafi is 18 years of age from the village of Vaivase-Tai while Wilson is 19 years of age from Taufusi.
According to the police Summary of facts, the victim went out with his friends to the R.S.A. nightclub in Apia on the night in question.
When the victim came outside, Wilson and Mafi started exchanging words with him and the victim ended up being punched in the mouth.
The Fijian student went back inside the night club and around midnight, he and his friends walked outside the night club and were about to go home.
Wilson and Mafi together with their friends then again attacked him and his friends. The victim’s friends managed to escape but the victim was caught up by the accused and he was brutally beaten.
The accused did not stop until they saw the victim was unconscious which was when they ran away.
The victim was rushed to the hospital that night and went through an emergency operation which saved his life.
In the Chief Justice’s decision, he said Wilson had a low level of education. He left school at Year 9 and stayed home, and in 2013 he got a job with the Samoa Ports Authority. However, within two months he left after he felt that the work was too much and stayed home again.
As for Mafi, he left school at year 10 and since his parents’ divorce, he had moved to live with his aunty at Vaivase Tai and helped her out with her market stall at Fugalei.
According to the Chief Justice, the two accused are not first offenders.
Wilson appeared in the youth court in 2014 on a similar offence and he was discharged without conviction.
In 2015 he appeared again and was given another chance. In March 2016 he again made an appearance in court for intentional damage and was under probation for 12 months.
“It seems like you don’t use these chances wisely,” said the Chief Justice.
Mafi had also appeared in court for robbery in 2015 and was under probation for 12 months.
In August 2015 he was charged with theft and was jailed for two months and then another three months for breaching his probation conditions.
Some of the aggravating factors the court said, was the way the offense was carried out, and the condition that the victim ended up in.
The Chief Justice also placed emphasis on the medical report and the number of injuries sustained by the victim as a result of the brutal attack from the accused and their friends.
And not only did they not want to stop until they saw that he was unconscious, but they left him where he was beaten.
The court also found that both accused and the victim were under the influence of alcohol but His Honour said he could not accept that as an excuse for the offence and for how the Fijian student was beaten so brutally.
The accused were both convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment.
The days they spent in custody will be deducted from their sentence.