Three years' jail for drunk man who stabbed chief

Sanele Telea, a man who was convicted of drunkenly stabbing an unarmed village chief during a scuffle, has been sentenced to three years’ jail at Tanumalala prison. 

Sentencing was handed down by Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson on Friday. 

The defendant faced two charges of being armed with a dangerous weapon and causing grievous bodily harm.

The complaining witness was a Chief of Satapuala who was a neighbour of the Church of Latter-Day Saints Bishop who approached the defendant to calm him down. 

Justice Vui pointed out the defendant was playing cards with other men, however, Tele’a was chased away, and this upset him and he started throwing rocks at the house and took off running. 

Telea maintained his not guilty plea and at trial said he used a “small knife” to protect himself and his children from the complaining witness. 

According to the victim, the defendant was overly intoxicated and swearing on the main road including outside the residence of the Bishop. 

Telea was also armed with a rock and during the struggle, the defendant also stabbed the victim with a knife. 

The complaining witness suffered stab wounds on his left side and he was treated in hospital for a week. 

“The [defendant’s] testimony [...] made it clear that he was unaware that someone was injured as a result, until the next day,” the court heard. 

He also admitted in court that he stoned a house where he played cards after he was chased away. 

“When the defendant encountered the complainant there is no evidence that the complainant was at all armed and the course of this confrontation the defendant pulled out a knife and stabbed the complainant who was trying to calm him down. 

“I am satisfied that both charges were proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” 

Justice Vui sentenced Telea to three years in jail with a deduction of time already served. 




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