Youth spared from prison
Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren spared the life of a 20 year old male Sione Sione from experiencing the life in prison after he was convicted with robbery.
Sione was given another chance to change his life and he was strongly advised by the court that robbery is a serious offence.
Justice Tafaoimalo said the seriousness of this offence is reflected by the maximum penalty of 10 years if convicted.
The charge of theft was accompanied by violence and due to the fact that the accused is older than the victim, it is considered as bullying.
Despite the aggravating factors, Justice Tafaoimalo gave a non custodial penalty for the defendant and ordered the probation office for a rehabilitation program that suits him well.
The accused is a single male of 20 years of age, who helps his mother during the day with her handicrafts and works night shifts at JPs bar at Vaimea. According to the police summary of facts, the victim is a 17 year old attending Saint Josephs college who was walking home around 3pm.
The victim caught up with Sione and he asked him for some money, the victim responded that he had no money.
The accused then walked over to the victim and searched his pockets and took his earphones and a cell phone worth $45 and left.
The victim reported the matter to the police the same day and Sione was arrested and charged with one count of robbery.
On May 16, 2016, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge.
Sione also told the court that he already apologized to the victim and his parents and returned all the things that he took that day.
He also apologized to the court for what he did and he had realized that what he did was wrong and that would be his last time to stand in court.