Repeat offender jailed for stealing 20 cell phones from Bluesky

An 18-year-old, who was out on bail when he broke into the offices of Bluesky to steal 20 mobile phones worth more than $10,000, has been sentenced to 17 months' jail. 

Matthew Fili Solo appeared before Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Darryl Clarke for sentencing on one charge of burglary and one charge of theft. 

The Court heard Solo was a repeat offender. The charge of burglary carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and theft 7 years imprisonment.    

Justice Leiataualesa noted from a summary of facts that on the 7 March 2019 between 2am and 3am, the defendant entered the Bluesky office through the bathroom at the back. 

He was accompanied by an acquaintance that waited outside the building .

“You removed five louvers attached to the bathroom window building. You entered the building whilst your acquaintance remained outside. You were carrying with you a black backpack," the Judge said in sentencing remarks that made reference to a police report. 

"You went through the office cupboards in the building and finally you went into a vault which you opened and stole 20 mobile phones worth $549.00 each. 

“The total value of the items stolen by you was $10,980.00. You then placed all the stolen items in the backpack and left the building through the window louver that you had come through. You gave the backpack to your friend and then you went to work.

"You were discovered when the camera footage at the Bluesky building was viewed and you were identified as the culprit".

Justice Leiataualesa noted the defendant committed this offending in March this year while on bail for other similar offending to which he pleaded guilty in 2018. 

The defendant has a number of prior convictions for offences of dishonesty including in the Youth Court and more recently in the Supreme Court. 

“Regrettably you are now starting on a life of imprisonment at such a young age. You were given an opportunity in the Youth Court to address the causes of your offending in programs and through a non-custodial sentence but fail to comply with that sentence,"  said Justice Leiataualesa. 

“In the community you have re-offended and appear to disobey your bail and other conditions placed on you by the Court. If you continue to do so upon your release, you will continue to come back before the Court. 

"I strongly urge you, Mathew, to find support of your family, from your village as well as from your church. 

“They can and should provide you with support that you can change your life particularly given your young age. So I urge you to go and seek help from them when you complete your sentences,” 

The Judge concluded the defendant to serve one year and five months imprisonment, less time remanded in custody.   

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