Man says drunken night led to weapons charge

A man was found guilty of being armed with a dangerous weapon and throwing after testifying drinking vodka caused him to lose his senses. 

The defendant Semo Semo, 23, did not engage counsel and represented himself in a hearing presided over by District Court Judge Talasa Atoa Saaga.

Semo was charged with counts including: being armed with a dangerous weapon, throwing stones, use of insulting threatening words and escaping from Police. 

He pleaded guilty to throwing stones but denied the other charges, the only one of which was dismissed was escaping from Police. 

On the witness stand, Semo testified that he drank two bottles of maso (vodka) on the night of 13 April this year, causing him to lose his sense and throw rocks at people. 

The defendant’s only witness didn’t turn up to testify in the trial.

The prosecution called five witnesses.

Witnesses testified that the defendant was drunk and used vulgar Samoan words in public. 

A former Police officer said the defendant used a bad word when he demanded another beer and testified that the accused was a good person but one who acts out when he is intoxicated.

Another witness, Toetu Toleafoa, testified that the defendant was at the Leone Bridge and rocks were thrown because there was a disagreement during a drinking party held under a tamaligi tree near the Leone Bridge.

Toleafoa said he was standing in front of a store near the bridge when Semo came running past with two police vehicles chasing after him.

He said they asked the Police who they were looking for but they did not answer, other than to say they were looking for a male suspect.

Members of Toleafoa’s family also helped Police search for Semo.

The following day, Semo got into a disagreement with another Leone man and then he threw rocks at the man’s home.

Toleafoa said there were several rocks thrown before Semo was apprehended and arrested by Police. 

Semo will be sentenced for being armed with a dangerous weapon and the insulting and threatening language charge on 13 July.


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