Teen jailed for theft, burglary

A 17-year-old boy has been jailed for 12 months for burglary theft of property amounting to $5,573.60.

Joe Faimasasa of Lotoso’a Saleimoa was sentenced by  Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke.

Prosecutor was Ryan Masinalupe of the Attorney General’s Office.

“At around 11pm on the 6th of August at Lotoso’a Saleimoa, the accused went to the victim’s house while she was at home with her family sleeping, he went to the back of the house and removed the louvers of one of the windows and entered the house without authority,” according to summary of facts.

“While in the house you stole the following items: one Dell Laptop valued at $2,244 and one Panasonic stereo valued at $1, 683."

“The total value of the item stolen on the 6th of August in Samoan tala is $3,927.”

The second incident was on the 9th of August.

“Around 11pm at Lotoso’a, you again went to the victim’s house without authority,” Justice Leiataualesa said.

“You stole one Alcatel cellphone valued at $600, one pair of Adidas sandal valued at $224.40, one golden wrist watch valued at $800, one Pall Mall packet of cigarettes valued at $12 and $10 cash."

“The total value of the item stolen on the 9th of August, 2017 is $1,646.60."

“The total value of the items stolen on both incidents is $5,573.60.”

 “You told probation you have no intention of returning to school and you enjoy staying home helping out your parents,” said Justice Leiataualesa.

“You have confirmed your prior conviction record involving intentional damage, throwing stones and being armed with a dangerous weapon entered on the 21st of September 2017 for which you were imprisoned for four months and which you are currently serving."

“You have also pleaded guilty in the District Court for the charges of common assault and of insulting that appears to arise from the event on the 28th of May this year and which you are also awaiting sentencing.”

The victim is a 47-year-old female from Lotoso’a Saleimoa.

In the victim’s impact report, she said the items stolen were recovered but the stereo and laptop were broken and were no longer useable.

“In respect to your break in to the house, the victim says that she had been significantly affected by it,” said Justice Leiataualesa.

“You broke into their home and into their room and she says that you could have killed her family as they were all fast asleep when you were in there.

“She says that there has been no reconciliation.”

In reading out the aggravating features Justice Leiataulesa said firstly: “The value of the goods stolen is significant, secondly, you broke into the victim’s house twice, thirdly your offending has the element of premeditation, fourthly your burglary was a home invasion at night while the victim and her family were sleeping, fifth your offending has had a significant impact on the victim and sixth I take into account your prior convictions.

“The mitigating features of this matter are your early guilty plea and your youth.”

In sentencing the accused, Justice Leiataualesa said the defendant was no stranger to the court and he was well on the path to a life wasted.

“Being at home and doing nothing useful with your life continues to bring you back to court,” Justice Leiataualesa told the accused.

“You must find a useful purpose for yourself to build a good life for you and your family.

“Prosecution seeks an imprisonment term starting at 18 months given the circumstances of your offending.

“Since the offending, the victim has been led fearful and has contemplated the possibility of what you could have done to her and her family while they were asleep.

“After your first break-in, you again broke in and stole again from the victim and there is no doubt the damage done to her and her family because of your insecurity.

“Given the number of items stolen, it seems that they have been in the victim’s home for so long.

“This offending also appears related to the other matters waiting in the court.”

According to the probation report, the accused told them that imprisonment is not a place for people like him and he also asked for a non-custodial sentence involving programs and that he is remorseful.

“For you, prison is precisely the place for you, given the circumstances of your offending and this personal to you as an offender and I agree with the prosecution,” said Justice Leiataulesa.

“I also do not accept that you are genuinely remorseful given that there has been no reconciliation given by yourself or your family on your behalf.

“A non-custodial sentence involving programs is not appropriate.”

During sentencing, Justice Leiataulesa’s considers the harm done to the victim and her family.

“In sentencing you, I bear in mind the need to promote the responsibility and the harm that you have caused to denounce your conduct and to deter you and others from committing the same and similar offences,” he said.

“In terms of burglary, I adopt 18 months and increase that by two months for your prior convictions.

“I deduct three months for your youth and five months for your guilty plea.

“On the charges of burglary, you are convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and this is cumulative to your current imprisonment sentence that you are serving.

“On your release, you are to be under the supervision of probation services for six months and are to attend any programme given by probation services at that time.

“You should make the most of the opportunities given and attend programs to turn your life around.

“On the two charges of theft, you are convicted and sentence to 10 months imprisonment and those are concurrent to the sentence of burglary.”

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?