Man Convicted for Trying to Strangle His Wife while Sitting on her Stomach, tells Court he was Dreaming

"On the 14th of June 2023 you were charged with assault, for sitting on your wife's stomach while strangling her neck.. and then told the Court that it was all just a dream!"

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A 25 year old man who was this week convicted for assaulting his wife had told the Court in his defense that it had all been a dream.

Ioane Taupo Sefo was handed a 22 month prison sentence and will spend Christmas at Tanumalala after the Court found he had sat on his wife’s stomach and attempted to strangle her.

Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa spoke firmly to the accused, a repeat offender, during sentencing in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Justice Tuatagaloa noted Sefo had first appeared before the Courts in 2019 charged with breaking and entry. In 2021 he was placed on 12 months probation, but had also reoffended in that time.

“On the 14th of June 2023 you were charged with assault, for sitting on your wife’s stomach while strangling her neck.. and then told the Court that it was all just a dream!”

“Then you assaulted your wife’s father,” continued Justice Tuatagaloa. “Then you ran outside and started throwing rocks at the house..”

The Supreme Court Justice told the accused that it was clear from his actions that there was no effort or attempt to change his behaviour, even though he was now a father.

Domestic abuse, reported as “domestic violence” or “intimate partner violence” is defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Cases continue to increase despite programs and millions of development partner funding being poured into attempts to curb domestic violence against women and girls in Samoa.

There continues to be a deeply rooted mindset amongst men that they have the right to beat women and sexually assault girls.


Brisin Manu Retzlaff-Lima