A 21 year old youth from Faleula was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for attacking a man who had been innocently walking along the main road, heading to his home one night.
Lagavale Pulou first appeared and pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery and grievous bodily harm in an incident that dates back to 2018. At the next mention he failed to appear at all so a warrant of arrest was issued against him causing the delay to Court proceedings. Unreprrsented, he is reported to have later pleaded guilty and on Friday afternoon, he stood before Justice Vui Clarence Nelson to be sentenced.
According to the police summary of facts accepted by the unrepresented youth, Pulou was drinking with a friend along the main road at Faleula when the 36 year old father walked past after work, heading toward his home at Afega.
Pulou approached him, intoxicated, and pretended to chat with the victim before punching him on the jaw.
When the victim fell to the ground, he lay helpless while the youth continued to strike him.
After the beating Pulou took the victim’s backpack that contained his personal belongings and $300 tala cash.
The defendant was later apprehended by police and the victim’s backpack retrieved.
In handing down the sentence Justice Vui Clarence Nelson once again highlighted the issue of alcohol-related youth crimes, and the growing number of serious incidents before the Courts involving youth while under the influence of alcohol.
Justice Vui advised Pulou to steer clear of alcohol if he unable to control himself.
“O le ‘ava malosi lava lea e faigata i lou olaga ma o la’u fautuaga ia te oe, afai e lē mafai ona e fa’afoefoeina lau amio pe a tagofia le ‘ava a le Palagi, e sili ai le tu’u”.
“O le itu lena e tatau ona e mafaufau lelei iai ma e telē le avanoa e mafai ai ona toe suia lau amio, o lena e te talavou.”
Justice Nelson counseled the 21 year old to make a change for the better, while he is still young.