Court denies prisoner sentenced in case of premeditated violence leave to appeal

'Oku taupotu 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

The Court of Appeal has refused an application for leave to appeal from a prisoner serving a sentence for causing grievous bodily harm.

Saia Naufahu was sentenced by Mr Justice Cato in the supreme Court to five and half years in prison for causing grievous bodily harm and given a concurrent sentence of 10 months for domestic violence.

Naufahu pleaded guilty to both charges after he committed the crimes in 2015.

In what the court described as a serious case of premeditated  violence,  Naufahu poured boiling water on his wife, causing burns to 35%-40% of his wife’s body, resulting in permanent scars and damage to her hand and eye.

The Court of Appeal refused to grant Naufahu time to appeal and said that in any case his appeal would have failed.

The Court said the prisoner had not explained why he had waited for more than two years to appeal.

The grounds advanced by the appellant in support of his proposed appeal were clearly hopeless and no purpose would be served in granting leave to appeal in any event, the Court was told.

The first ground of appeal was that Justice Cato failed to take into account that the victim was alleged to have committed adultery, based on a claim that this was recognised as a matter of extreme provocation by section 89(c) of the Criminal Offences Act.

The Court was told this part of the application was “misconceived” and that the section applied in cases of culpable  homicide.

Arguments that Judge Cato did not take into account Naufahu’s family and personal circumstances were described as incorrect.

Naufahu’s also claimed he should have been given a one third reduction in sentence because he pleaded guilty. The Court of appeal was told that in fact Judge Cato had in fact reduced more than 30% of the sentence.

“There can be no suggestion of error on the part of Justice Cato on any of the grounds advanced by the appellant and the sentence was clearly not excessive,” the Court of Appeal was told.

“The application to appeal is dismissed.”


  1. Kuo ‘ikai ke tali ‘e he Fakamaau’anga’ e fokotu’u fakalao ‘a Saia Naufahu mo ‘ene loea’ ke faka’atā ha’ane tangi ‘i hono tautea’, ‘a ia ko e ta’u ‘e nima mo e māhina ‘e 10 ki he hia ko ‘ene fakatupu ha lavea lahi.

    Ne tali halaia ‘a Naufahu ki he faka’ilo ‘e ua ne mo’ua ai’ kau ai ‘a ‘ene lingi vai vela’i ‘a hono uaifi’ ‘ iku ki he fepikipiki’i hono fofonga’ mo hono nima’.

    Ne pehē ‘e he Fakamaau’anga’ ‘oku ‘ikai ke ne ‘ilo ko e hā kuo a’u ai ‘o ta’u ‘e ua pea toki tangi ‘a e pōpula’ ni.

    Kaekehe, ko e ngaahi makatu’unga ‘o e tangi’ ni ke fakasi’isi’i hono tautea’ ‘aki e ‘uhinga kau ai ‘a e pehē ne ‘ikai fakakaukau’i ‘e Fakamaau Lahi Cato he taimi ne ne hilifaki ai hono tautea’ ne ‘ikai ke mei hoko e hia’ ni ka ko e tukuaki’i ne tono mo fe’auaki ‘a e uaifi’, ‘oku ‘i ai e fāmili pōpula’, pea ne tonu pe ke ‘oange hano toe faingamālie ke fakasi’isi’i hono tautea’ he na’e ‘uluaki tali halaia.

    Pehē ‘e he Fakamaau Tangi’ ‘oku ‘ikai mo’oni e tukuaki’i ko ‘eni’ pea’ ne ‘osi fakakakato kotoa pe ‘e Fakamaau Cato e ngaahi me’a ‘oku to e tokanga ki ai ‘a Naufahu’ ki mu’a pea toki hilifaki hono tautea’.


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