A District Court Judge in Samoa has ordered the removal of a church pulpit that fell onto a toddler, causing her tragic death in July this year.
During an inquest into the death of 5 year old Elizabeth “Beth” Peniata, Judge Alalatoa Rosella Papalii was told the pulpit was still in use. Judge Alalatoa then deemed the pulpit unsafe and ordered its removal from the Amazing Love Christian Church parish at Samatau.
The young girl’s mother was in Court and had to relive the tragedy, describing for the Court the events that led to her daughter’s untimely and sudden death on a Saturday, while the family were attending to their church cleaning duties.
Vaotupu Tuatagaloa revealed in the District Court this week that she did not know the time her daughter had walked towards the church pulpit.
The grieving mother told the Court that it was an incident she would never forget.
“It was so sudden seeing her on the ground with the pulpit on top of her.
She said her daughter was bleeding from her nose, ears and mouth and was sadly, pronounced dead upon arrival to the nearest District Hospital at Leulumoega.
It was then that Judge Alalatoa asked Ms Tuatagaloa if that same pulpit was still in use by the church today, and the reply was “yes”.
Judge Alalatoa then ordered the pulpit of the Amazing Love Christian Church at Samatau, to be destroyed “because it is just not safe”.