Man gets non-custodial sentence for marijuana

A 54-year-old man from Fagae’e and Salelologa was given a non-custodial sentence for possession of two marijuana cigarettes. 

Instead, Afoa Viavia has been sentenced to nine months supervision and ordered to carry out 60 hours of community work. 

The offending occurred when Police during their patrol at the Fugalei bus station on 25 January 2019 found two marijuana cigarettes in a foil lying next to Viavia. 

The unemployed father of four children was then taken to the Police station. 

Viavia has prior convictions for similar offending.  

In a recent decision, Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke told Avia that at his age his poor attitude and refusal to change his life by taking steps to attend programs is foolish.  

“It is no wonder that your family has given up on you and leave stated that the best place for you is prison,” said Justice Leiataualesa.

“You have 4 children and I expect that as a father, you are failing in that role.

“You certainly do not provide the role model that children look for in their parents.”

Furthermore, Justice Leiataualesa said Viavia does not try to change his life and should be ashame.

“You have shown no interest in attend programs to change your life and given your age, I am quite surprised by your attitude.”

He added there he hopes that Viavia will consider what he has been told and attend programs to change his life.

In sentencing the 54-year-old, Justice Leiataualesa pointed out that given the quantity of marijuana in his possession and the time that he had been remanded in custody, I have decided to impose a non-custodial sentence. 

“It will nevertheless provide an opportunity to attend programs if the Probation Service direct you to do so,” he said. 

“Afoa, I hope you listen to what I have said to you and that you attend programs. 

“Those programs are there to help you. As I have said, I am fairly certain if you do not attend programs you will be back before the Court. 

“So please make use of the supervision term.”

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