Faleatiu men convicted over firearm assault

Two men involved in an assault case in which a firearm was fired have been sent to jail by the Supreme Court.

Iolamo Mo’a and Fotubaby Mo’a were sentenced last week by Supreme Court Justice Tologata Tafaoimalo Tuala-Warren in relation to the incident that occured.

Iolamo Mo’a was sentenced on one charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one of using threatening words.

Fotubaby Mo’a was sentenced to one charge of causing actual bodily harm; one charge of being armed with a dangerous weapon; using dangerous words; and one charge relating to firing a 9 millimeter pistol. 

According to Police reports, on the morning of 21 April this year, an argument broke out between the defendants’ mothers and her sisters. 

The dispute drew other parties and occurred on a road in front of land which is the subject of dispute between the sisters concerned.

After the argument began the men were alleged to have arrived at a scene, whereupon Iolamo was alleged to have left the car and struck a male victim over the head with a gun causing an injury to his head which required two to three stitches. 

Fotubaby Mo’a then fired the gun he was holding without warning. 

One of the bullets ricocheted off the ground causing laceration to the second victim’s leg. 

Both men brought the guns they used to the scene of the offending.

According to the Police pre-sentence report, Iolamo Moa is 31 years old, married, a father to four children and a mechanic.

Fotubaby Moa is 36 years old and a married father-of-five.

“Both were penalised by the village and when they could not pay the penalty they were banished from the village,” said Justice Taofaoimalo in her sentencing remarks. 

“The village council is meeting again in early December to reconsider their payment of $3000, eight boxes of lamb, two [cattles] and three fine mats. There has been no apology to the victims.

“I am told they paid village penalties to both villages of Fasitoo and Faleatiu.”

In her sentencing remarks the Judge noted that the unprovoked use of a firearm and attack on the victim was an aggravating factor in her considerations.  

Justice Tafaoimalo ruled to sentence Iolamo Mo’a to one year and six months’ imprisonment for the charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

For the use of threatening words, he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment to be served concurrently with his main sentence. 

Time already spent in custody by the accused is to be deducted from their sentence. 

Fotubaby Moa was convicted of causing actual bodily harm and sentenced to one year and eight months’ imprisonment.

“He is convicted of being armed with a dangerous weapon and sentenced to [six] months’ imprisonment to be served concurrently,” the Judge said. 

He was convicted of discharging a firearm and also the threatening words offence, for the latter of which he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment to be served concurrently. 

Justice Tologata ruled that the firearms be destroyed. 

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