Taxi driver fears for safety after robbery

A taxi driver who was beaten up by two men leaving him unconscious before they robbed him and fled with the car, says he no longer feels safe driving at night.

The 51-year-old taxi driver was the victim of aggravated robbery perpetrated by Noa Isumu, 24, and another co-defendant on the morning of May 25 this year. 

Isumu appeared before the Supreme Court this week for sentencing on several charges. 

He pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, intentional damage, and had alcohol detected on his breath causing careless driving. 

In the victim’s impact report, the 51-year-old from Moamoa, told Police he no longer feels safe to drive at night and fears for his safety. 

He was also vulnerable being asleep while the men committed the crime. 

The taxi driver also said he is now paying for damages of more than $6000 caused to the car that the men crashed at the Maagiagi cemetery. 

His employer lives in New Zealand and is the owner of the taxi he was driving. 

The unemployed defendant from Sinamoga with another co-defendant found the taxi driver sleeping in his vehicle at 1.00am in May this year. 

When the men tried to wake up the taxi driver, who had stopped at Sinamoga to rest because he was intoxicated, he did not wake up. 

The men then proceeded to go through the belongings of the taxi driver, eventually waking him up. 

When he awoke, Isumu punched him on the mouth and, together with the co-defendant, dragged him from the car. 

The taxi driver was repeatedly beaten, fell unconscious and was left at Sinamoga while the men drove away with the car. 

According to police summary of facts the defendants were also drunk. 

It was later that on that morning that Isumu crashed the car at the Magiagi cemetery gate. 

Villagers saw the incident and reported the men to Police. 

The defendant was on bail over an intentional damage charge by the District Court when he re-offended. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke sentenced him to two years and six months for the offending. 

Before he delivered his decision, Justice Leiataualesa said Isumu did not show any sign of remorse to the victim and had only expressed remorse for himself.

While he was referred to the Alcohol and Drugs Court programme for rehabilitation earlier this year it did not change him. 

He pointed out it was a wasted opportunity to see young men such as Isumu not take up opportunities to change their lives, even when the State tries to help through programmes offered by the Court and funded by the public.  

"It is only you that can change your life and I sincerely hope that you change your attitude…” said the Judge. 

“Many people before you changed their lives and I know that you can too.  

“You should be under no doubt that if you do not change your life you will continue to come back in Court. That would be a waste of your life.”  

Isumu has agreed to be a witness in a case where the other co-defendant has pleaded not guilty to the offending. 

As a bargain for his sentence, four months was deducted for his offer to help prosecution in their case. 

It was not heard in Court who the other co-defendant is.  

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