Supreme Court allows appeal against sentence

Tali e tangi ‘a Siōsiua Tauelangi hili ‘a hono fakahalaia’i ia’ ‘o holoki mei he māhina ‘e 12 ki he māhina pe ‘e ono ke ngāue pōpula ai. Na’e tautea fakataha ia mo hono tehina ko Fonua hili ‘ena ‘ohofi mo fakalavea’i ‘a e toko taha ko Fatai Lavaka.

A man convicted of common assault has had his appeal upheld in the Supreme Court.

On September 20 last year Siosiua and his brother Fonua Tauelangi attacked  Fatai Lavaka. Last month they pleaded guilty and were  convicted  for the  attack in the Magistrate’s Court and  sentenced  by  Principal  Magistrate Mafi.

Siosiua was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with the final  six months suspended.

Fonua was convicted of serious bodily harm and sentenced to six months imprisonment fully suspended on the condition that he performed 40 hours community work. The Crown is appealing against Fonua’s sentence.

Last week Siosiua appeared before Lord Chief Justice Paulsen to appeal against his sentence.

In his report on the case, the judge said Mafi said he had taken into account all of the mitigating factors presented on Siosiua’s behalf, but that Siosiua had initiated the assault and had an appalling record.

Counsel for Siosiua argued that the Magistrate imposed the maximum sentence upon  Siosiua for the offence of common assault when this could not be regarded as the most serious offending of its kind.

Secondly,  the Magistrate  failed  to  take account of the  mitigating  factors.

Thirdly,  there was an unjustified inconsistency between the sentences imposed upon Siosiua and his brother Fonua.

Mr Justice Paulsen said the Magistrate had erred in his sentencing and he would allow the appeal.

He declared that Siosiua was convicted and sentenced to six  months imprisonment. He was to be given credit against the sentence for any time served.

The main points

  • A man convicted of assault has had his appeal upheld in the Supreme Court.
  • Siosiua Tauelangi appealed against a sentence of 12 months for common assault, with the final six months suspended.
  • Mr Justice Paulsen declared that Tauelangi was convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was to be given credit against the sentence for any time served.

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