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Man jailed four years for manslaughter

A man has been jailed for four years, for his involvement in a rock throwing fight, which killed a 58-year-old father in Faleasi'u, last year.

Maualalo Senetenari, is one of two men accused in the rock-throwing incident. He pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter during earlier Court proceedings. His co-defendant, Mr. Lefiu, will be trialled for murder in September.

Senetenari, who appeared before Justice Fepulea'i Ameperosa Roma, was sentenced on two charges: manslaughter and being armed with a dangerous weapon.

"The first charge is manslaughter…it carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. The second charge is being armed with a dangerous weapon,” Justice Fepulea’i said.

The incident occurred on 9 March 2019 at Moamoa, Faleasi'u.

The Court heard that Senetenari was drinking with his co-accused at his home. The deceased was at one of his son’s house.

Sometime later in the evening, the defendant and the younger brother of his co-accused went past the house of the son of the man who died.

There was a verbal exchange between Senetenari, the co-accused, the deceased man and his wife.

The deceased’s two sons, and the deceased came out of the house and the confrontation escalated into a fight.

 The deceased joined in the fight and held Senetenari by the neck. Senetenari punched the victim twice in the face and ran to his co-accused’s house.

The deceased man took his sons back to the house and was trying to calm one of them who was cussing.

Senetenari met his co-accused and they returned to the scene, the home of the son of the deceased man.

Armed with stones, the defendants stood near the house and threw stones at the deceased and his two sons.

The deceased man’s sons retaliated by throwing stones back at the defendants.

The stone throwing continued and the deceased was struck by a rock on the forehead. The injury caused heavy bleeding to the deceased’s head. He felt dizzy, dazed and he sat down immediately.

The deceased man’s neighbours took him to the hospital. He died nine days later.

In a post-mortem examination report, the cause of death was revealed as a blunt force head injury, consistent with being struck by a rock.

The wife of the deceased said her husband’s death was unexpected and untimely, according to the Victim Impact Report.

She confirmed that they are family and that a traditional ifoga was conducted and accepted. The wife of the deceased asked the court for leniency in passing sentence.

Representing Senetenari was defense lawyer, Arthur Lesa.

The prosecutor was Fuifui Ioane of the Attorney General’s Office.

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