Couple sentenced for forging Police report
A couple has been sentenced to 12 months supervision for forging a police clearance report.
They did this in order to have their Pastor’s vehicle used as part of the transport fleet in last month's 2019 XVI Pacific Games hosted by Samoa.
Virginia Faauuga and Setu Lefaoseu, of Ma'agao, have both pleaded guilty to three charges of forgery and three charges of using forged documents.
Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke said offences of dishonesty are very common, particularly among the youth of our community.
In his view, he said that the couple can give back to the community and to the youth by speaking to them about the importance of honesty and what they have experienced following their arrest.
“My sentence will therefore incorporate this in the hope that with you speaking to our youths they will not travel the same path that you have walked,” he said.
Justice Leiataualesa ordered that the couple be sentenced to 12 months Police supervision, on the condition that they carry out community work as directed by the probation officer and speak to youth about the consequence of being dishonest.
The couple are youth group leaders in a church denomination in Apia.
According to the summary of facts, the pair decided to submit an application for the vehicles to be used in the Pacific Games.
As part of the application, a Police clearance report was required to be submitted with the application.
The Police policy regarding this report is that it requires three days to be completed.
But due to the approaching application deadline for the paper work to be finalised for the Police clearance report, Virginia acted on instructions from her husband and created three false clearance reports.
The couple then submitted the forged and false documents to the Pacific Games authorities.
In relation to the false Police Clearance Report for Setu, a prior conviction for overloading of a bus was removed from the forged police clearance report so that it appeared that he did not have any prior convictions associated with his role as a bus driver.
The couple has two children with another baby on the way.
Despite their youth group leadership role, the Court heard that the couple knowingly acted dishonestly and deceptively by taking an earlier Prior Conviction Record belonging to Setu to recreate and forge a similar document to mislead the Pacific Games office.
Justice Leiataualesa said when the couple committed the offending, he had no doubt that both knew what they did was dishonest and wrong.
“Yet, despite knowing that you shouldn’t create the forged documents, you did so nevertheless and submitted them for the tender in an effort to secure a contract for the PG (Pacific Games),” he said.
“It is important that people like yourselves lead by example. Our youth who you preach to look up to you both.
“When you preach, they should not be hollow words that come from you but words of sincerity and meaning that you both live by.”