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Mother accused of manslaughter separated from children

A mother charged over the death of her one-year-old baby, has been ordered by a Court to live apart from her new baby and other children, in order to ensure their safety.

Autoa Tiatia Misa, of Samalaeulu Savai’i, appeared before the Supreme Court on Monday.

She faces four charges stemming from an incident in which she allegedly hit her one-year-old daughter with a broomstick. The charges include manslaughter, failing to provide necessities of life, being armed with a dangerous object and assault. 

Appearing before Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke, the mother told the Court she is currently caring for three children: a 4-year-old, 3 year-old and a two week old baby. 

Justice Leiataualesa questioned the safety of her children considering the alleged victim was one of her children. 

Given the seriousness of the charges against Mrs. Misa, the Judge ordered that her baby and children will reside with her mother. 

“This is to ensure there is no risk to other children,” said the Supreme Court Judge. 

The mother was seen weeping outside the Court after the matter was called.

He added the order is made unless there is a medical report that states the need for the mother to reside with her children.  

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The mother of Mrs. Misa was asked if she in a condition to care for the children including the two-week-old.

She said she was but added that the baby was being breastfed.

The accused mother had been living with her mother in Gataivai Savai’i but has been ordered to reside elsewhere away from her children. 

“The matter is adjourned to next week without plea for application of legal aid to be dealt with,” said Justice Leiataualesa. 

“For the time being you have to reside elsewhere until I am satisfied with the welfare of the children.” 

Mrs. Misa was remanded on bail and will reside with her mother’s family at Taga Savaii. 

Her children are to reside with her mother at Gataivai away from her. 

It is alleged that she had hit her one-year-old baby girl on the head with a broomstick in May this year. 

The incident is alleged to caused the baby’s death a few days after. 

She had failed to appear in the Court earlier this month after which a warrant of arrest was issued. 

On Friday last week she had applied for a lawyer under the legal aid programme. 

However, Justice Leiataualesa said she should have made the request earlier.

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