The Supreme Court has reduced a prisonersâ sentence after hearing a claim for mitigation from his counsel.
Moale ViÂ had pleaded guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm after hitting Penisimani Fifita on the head with an iron bar and fracturing his skull.
The incident took place at the fire station in Longolongo on December 22, 2016.
Mr Justice Cato said that Viâs counsel had provided information that indicated that Vi had been involved in a conflict with his fellow fire officers are retraining to the station drunk.
During the struggle to restrain him FifitaÂ kicked Vi repeatedly in the head.
Some time after the prisoner was taken away by police, he returned to the station and struck Fifita with an iron bar while he slept.
âIÂ concludeÂ thatÂ theÂ prisonerÂ wasÂ drunkÂ andÂ unruly at the station,â the judge said.
âI accept andÂ itÂ wasÂ confirmedÂ byÂ Officer PauloÂ Kolo inÂ his evidence that thisÂ was outÂ of characterÂ forÂ him.Â I find that, although the officers were entitled to take reasonableÂ steps to restrainÂ andÂ subdueÂ theÂ prisonerÂ whoÂ hadÂ plainly become a nuisance and preventÂ anyÂ violence,Â OfficerÂ FifitaÂ didÂ use excessive force when kicking him several times to the headÂ area.â
The judge said that he considered the matter as a mitigating factor in sentencing the prisoner, although not a significant one.
He therefore reduced the starting pint of the sentence by six months.
In further mitigation, he accepted that Vi had pleaded guilty atÂ an early stage, had been co-operative, probablyÂ was remorseful, and had lost a job of which he was very fond.
He therefore reduced his sentence further to three years, with the last 12 months suspended on condition that he not commit any offence punishable by imprisonment and undertake courses in drug and alcohol abuse and anger management with the Salvation Army.