Notorious criminal tells Court he wants to see his family

A young offender, who is notorious for escaping from prison, has told the Court he wanted to avoid going back behind bars so he could see his family.

Aniseko Vaelei Pritchard, 22-year-old of Aele, made the plea in the Supreme Court when he was about to be sentenced for his latest crime, possession of narcotics. 

He pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of narcotics, namely marijuana.

The offending occurred in October last year when Pritchard was captured with co-offender, Lautiti Tualima, by Police after escaping from the new $18.2 million tala Tanumalala Prison facility. 

According to a summary of facts, after the men were captured, Pritchard was searched by Police where the narcotics were found in a plastic bag inside his pocket. 

Police estimate the street value of the marijuana to be more than $500 tala. 

Appearing before Justice Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma, the 22-year-old asked for forgiveness and leniency. 

He told the Court  he wants to see his family and that he was remorseful for his crimes. 

A probation report stated that Pritchard’s current imprisonment term will expire in the year 2033. 

Pritchard started appearing in Court since he was 15 years old and had since been reoffending for the last seven consecutive years. 

Those crimes include burglary and theft, aggravated robbery, possession of narcotics, causing grievous bodily harm and escaping prison in the last four years. 

His latest crime spree came last year when he broke into several family homes with his co-offender stealing thousands of tala and threatening people. 

Justice Fepulea’i, when sentencing the prisoner, told him that the only mitigating factor for him was his guilty plea to the charges. 

The Judge accepted the accused plea for leniency sentencing him to three years for the possession of narcotics charges to be served concurrently with his current imprisonment term.


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