Supreme Court discharges man without conviction after assault and robbery

Tuku ange ‘e Fakamaau Laki Niu ‘a Finau Kātoa 'a ia na’a ne ‘ohofi pea mo kaiha’a mei ha faifakatau ‘i Fepueli ‘e ta’u ni' lolotonga e fakama’a kolo he matangi ko Kita’. Ko e toko taha ta’u 15 ‘eni. Na’a ne tali tonuhia ‘i he’ene pehē ko e pa’anga pe ‘e $4,000 ne ne hola mo ia’ 'ikai ko e $8,000 he ko ia ne tātikite ai ia'. Ne toe ma'u pe foki 'a e $4,000 'o fakafoki ki he Siaina'. Pehē ‘e Laki ‘oku kei si’i e faka’iloa’ pea ‘ikai hano lekooti faihia. Ko ia ne ne tu’utu’uni ke tukuanga ‘oua ‘e fakahalaia’i kae ‘oua na’a ne toe fai ha hia ‘i he ta’u ‘e ua ka hoko mai’.

The Supreme Court had discharged a man without charge following the assault and robbery of a shop keeper in February this year.

On February 13 Finau Katoa, then 15, punched the shopkeeper in the back of his head from behind.

Stunned, the man fell down and the accused searched his pocket and took a wad of cash from it and ran off with it.

The man and his wife were cleaning up after Hurricane Gita.

His wife saw the assault and called for help. Two boys and a policeman chased Katoa and caught him.

The shopkeeper told police Katoa had stolen TP$8000.

Katoa was charged with robbery of TP$8000. He pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate’s Court on the grounds that he only took TP$4000.

The Crown agreed with the accused to reduce the amount of the charge to TP$4000 and the accused pleaded guilty.

Judge L.M.Niu said the accused, who turned 16 on November 16, had no previous conviction.

The judge said Katoa’s  probation officer believed it was unlikely that the accused would re-offend.

“I consider  that in view of the young age of  the accused  and of what  may be a promising  future for him  with  his  education, and apparent effort and progress  made  already with his behaviour at school, at home and the village, a conviction for such  a serious offence as robbery will be far more detrimental than the injury and theft he committed to the complainant,” Judge Niu said.

“I consider that this is an appropriate case for discharge without conviction but with a condition that he does not reoffend within the next two years.”

The main points

  • The Supreme Court had discharged a man without charge following the assault and robbery of a shop keeper in February this year.
  • On February 13 Finau Katoa, then 15, punched the shopkeeper in the back of his head and took a wad of cash from his pocket.

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