Student pleads guilty to possession of narcotics

An 18-year-old student of a College in Upolu who was charged for possession of narcotics has pleaded guilty to the offence. 

Joe Tomasi of Satapuala appeared before the Supreme Court earlier this week for criminal mention.

Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu presided the matter. 

Lawyer Lucy Sio Ofoia was the prosecutor. 

The charge against Tomasi took place at his school where a teacher went through his school bag and allegedly found four branches of marijuana in February this year. 

Tomasi pleaded guilty to the charge when he was asked by the Court to enter a plea.

He also did not want a lawyer to represent him.

Chief Justice Patu referred the matter to the Alcohol and Drugs Court for their investigation before reporting back to the Supreme Court. 

The 18-year-old remains in custody. 

When Tomasi’s case was called last week his father asked the Court for mercy and leniency towards his son to set him free so he can return to school. 

His father who identified himself as Tomasi asked the Court for second chance.

“I know my son has now appeared for the second time before your Honour and I beg you to forgive him and give him a chance to continue his school,” the father told the Court last week. 

“He hasn’t been to school for the past two weeks, and I know my son has been disobedient. And I humbly ask that you record his disobedience for the reason why he is in Court today, but please allow him to finish his school.” 

In response, the Chief Justice reminded the father of the sentence he had delivered for his son. 

“Your son had recently been sentenced, and I had advised that you the parents have the obligation to ensure that your son remains of good character, and I strongly urged you to carry out that obligation,” he said.  

“The parents are the first teachers and if they neglect that obligation, their children will not turn out good. The request from the father to allow the son to return to school, the Court finds that he is not doing that. He had stolen and broke into a home and now possession of marijuana.”

Tomasi was recently sentenced to 12 months supervision and ordered to perform 100 hours community work. 

He was found guilty for a separate incident to the charge of burglary and one charge of theft.  

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