Suspended sentence for drug dealer police arrested after being chased to bush allotment

    The man who led police on a chase into a bush allotment near Tu’atakilangi was given full suspension of his imprison term after he was charged with two counts of possession of illicit drugs.

    Ue’ikaetau Tapa’atoutai must not commit any further offences punishable by imprisonment during the period of suspension.

    He has to be placed on probation, undertake and complete the drugs and alcohol awareness program by the Salvation Army and complete 40 hours of community work under the direction of the Probation Officer.

    In his second arraignment, Tapa’atoutai pleaded guilty to both counts of possession of illicit drugs namely 0.08 grams of
    methamphetamine and possession of a Class B drugs namely 0.43 grams of cannabis.

    The Supreme Court was told that on 3 February 2020, officers of the Drug Enforcement Taskforce were returning from Tofoa after responding to a drug related matter.

    On their way back to the Nuku’alofa Police station, they drove through a short cut into Tu’atakilangi to get to the Bypass Road.

    They saw the Accused walking towards them and when they slowed down the accused turned and ran.

    Suspecting that the accused had something unlawful on him, the police chased after him.

    As he was running, the accused threw something into the bushes before he was caught and brought back to the vehicle.

    The police searched the area where the accused had thrown something into and found one test tube containing one pack of cannabis and one pack of methamphetamine.

    Sentencing Tapa’atoutai, Justice Langi said that on the count of possession of a Class A drug the accused is convicted and sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment.

    On the count of possession of a Class B drug the Accused is convicted and sentenced to1month
    imprisonment to be served concurrent to Count 1.

    “The sentence is fully suspended for 12 months”.

    “As requested by the Crown, I further order that all illicit drugs seized from the accused be destroyed,” Justice Langi said.


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