Ex-prison guard faces court herring over alleged fish theft

An ex-prisons officer appeared before Court this week to answer to charges that she stole five boxes of herring from the authority in 2016. 

Hilda Moelasi, who said she sold the stolen boxes to pay for food for staff members, had her hearing scheduled in the Supreme Court on Thursday. 

She faces one count of theft as a servant during the time she was a prisons officer at Tafaigata in 2016. 

Ms. Moelasi entered a not guilty plea. 

But her matter could not proceed with the hearing because her lawyer was not present. 

Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa queried the defendant about the absence of her lawyer. 

Ms. Moelasi said she had contacted her counsel who told her he could not make the hearing. 

The Court was left with no option but to adjourn the matter. 

Justice Tuatagaloa told the defendant to inform her lawyer he needs to appear in Court to perform his legal duties. 

She added the Court will deal with the counsel if he does do his legal obligations to his client. 

The matter has been referred back to the call over on Thursday next week. 

Ms. Moelasi is accused of stealing five herring boxes from the then Tafaigata prison office in 2016. 

It is alleged that she sold the boxes and used the money to buy food for the prisons staff. 

The value of the alleged stolen boxes of herring is $200 tala. 

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