Man discharged without conviction over measles burglary

A 20-year-old male has been discharged without conviction for burglary and theft of items worth $1,000 during the two-day measles mass vaccination campaign last year.

Christian Isaia, of Ma'agao, who was not represented by a lawyer, faced two charges of theft and burglary. Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke handed down the decision in the Supreme Court, warning the young offender not to waste the chance given to him. 

According to the summary of facts, on  7 December 2019, Isaia with four other young men broke into Transam Company at Malifa during the two-day shutdown period for measles epidemic. He entered the company building from the back and turned off the security camera.

The young men then stole $1,055 worth of goods varying from shoes to a portable DVD player, play station games and other items. 

The Court noted that the young offender had successfully completed sessions with the Salvation Army’s Alcohol and Drugs Treatment programme. 

Isaia has also apologised to Transam Company and had offered payment towards restitution for the harm he caused. 

The Court heard that the company did not accept the payment.  

“Christian, a conviction will be a lifelong mark on your name that will follow you throughout your working life and when you may seek to travel overseas,” said Justice Leiataualesa. “I accept that your actions on this night is out of character and isolated and you have taken steps to address your offending.

“I find that the consequences of a conviction are out of all proportion to the gravity of your offending.”

Justice Leiataualesa concluded that he has considered that it is appropriate that he exercise his discretion to discharge the young offender without conviction. 

“Before I formally make orders to discharge you without conviction, I want to say to you Christian not to waste this chance being given to you,” he said.  “It is a chance not given often and it is important that you hear what I have said and the impact of a conviction on you. 

“You have also told me that you have changed your circle of friends and it is important to do so and stay away from friends that may lead you astray.”

In addition the Judge said very often the young men that come before the Courts act together with their friends under the influence of alcohol. He added that very sadly, the actions they carry out are life changing and for the worse with many ending up in prison.

“That is no future for you,” he said.  “So learn from your experiences and make the most of this opportunity that has been given to you and most importantly, succeed in your schooling your career so that you do not come back before the Court. 

“You should also understand that if you should re-offend for similar offending, you are unlikely to receive the same outcome as you have received from me today.”

The young offender was discharged without conviction and ordered to pay $150 tala for Court costs. 

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