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Street vendor jailed for machete attack

A street vendor has been sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment for attacking a construction worker with a machete. 

Sosene Iota, of Faleula, was charged for causing grievous bodily harm to a 24-year-old construction worker. 

The 27-year-old, who regularly sells soft drinks at the market in Apia, pleaded guilty to the charge. 

Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren handed down the decision.

The defendant has previous conviction of similar nature namely assault, causing injury and armed with a dangerous weapon. 

In her ruling, Justice Tafaoimalo said an aggravating factor personal to Iota is that he has attended rehabilitation programmes through the District Court in 2016 but obviously it was of no use to him. 

“It is of paramount importance that the public is protected from the accused,” she said. 

“The ease with which he has used a machete to strike the victim is concerning. It is fortunate that the victim survived the attack. 

“He has also committed offending of a violent nature previously. 

“He must be deterred before he takes someone’s life.”

Justice Tafaoimalo added the matter is yet another of alcohol induced violence and intoxication is not a mitigating factor. 

According to the summary of facts, on 28 August 2018, the accused was drinking with the victim and others at the victim’s brother’s house. 

Iota became angry with the victim in relation to his phone and later left the drinking session. 

Not long after when everyone had left the construction worker alone, the street vendor returned with a machete and hit the head of the victim from behind. 

The man fell unconscious and as a result suffered a huge laceration to the back of his head. 

It required eight stitches. 

The Court heard that Iota had apologised to the victim but was not accepted.  

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