Man breaks into property after being chased by girlfriend

A man broke in at the Matuaileoo Environment Trust Incorporated (M.E.T.I.) property at Vailele to find a place to sleep after being told by his girlfriend to leave her family home. 

Walter Iakopo, a 27-year-old male of Vailele, Saleaula and Patamea Savai’i, faces two charges of burglary and one charge of theft. 

He pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

Iakopo was living with his girlfriend’s family where he worked on a plantation before the offending happened. 

Appearing before Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren on Friday the defendant told the Judge that he had been good for four years until he was chased by his girlfriend from her family home. 

He was responding to question from Justice Tafaoimalo that asked why he broke into M.E.T.I. on the day of the offending. 

“My girlfriend chased me and I went there to sleep,” said Iakopo. 

He mumbled a few more words before finishing his sentence. 

According to the summary of facts, after breaking in at M.E.T.I. without authorization in January 2019, Iakopo then fed two cats at the property and slept inside a room. 

He said his parents are divorced and had lived with his girlfriend before she chased him away. 

Prosecution and Attorney General lawyer, Quentin Sauaga said the defendant has previous conviction in 2015 that was not sentenced for. 

He was on the run since and Police had only discovered him four years later when the owner of M.E.T.I. reported the recent incident to Police and had found Iakopo’s whereabouts. 

That incident in July 2015 alleges Iakopo broke into M.E.T.I. and stole a freezer, chop saw, weed eater and boiler. 

The stolen items are estimate to have cost $5, 189 tala. 

Police were able to recover and returned freezer and boiler. 

Iakopo later admitted to his father that he stole the items from M.E.T.I. office and kept it in a nearby land inside a container. 

For that matter in 2015, Iakopo failed to appear in Court and a warrant of arrest was issued. 

He was captured in February 2019 and has been remanded in custody.  

Other questions from the Justice Tafaoimalo to Iakopo were not clearly answered by the defendant. 

He appeared confused and had problems responding to simple questions. 

A probation officer also told the Court that the office had difficulty understanding the defendant when he was asked questions. 

Justice Tafaoimalo then ordered that the defendant be taken to a psychiatric for a medical report. 

“I do not feel comfortable sentencing him,” she said. 

“It appears that it is hard for him to comprehend easy questions and I can see that he is unclear.” 

The matter was then adjourned for 4 July for psychiatrist report on Iakopo. 

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