Man convicted of killing his brother sent to jail


A man convicted of manslaughter in the death of his younger brother has been sentenced to 31 months in jail. 

The incident occurred in February this year in Savaii. Sentencing was handed down by Justice Niavā Mata K. Tuatagaloa last week. 

The defendant Maeli Faleiva is 36 years of age, his younger brother was 27 years old. 

According to the summary of facts, the deceased was heavily intoxicated and struck the defendant on the left shoulder with a machete and when he fell unconscious, the brother walked away. 

However, not long after the defendant woke up grabbed a heavy stick used for carrying loads and went after the deceased and struck him from behind on the head, three times. 

The defendant did not stop when the deceased fell on the ground instead he continued to kick him. A post-mortem was carried out in June and the Pathologist’s findings as to the cause of death were due to, severe traumatic head injuries and blunt head force trauma.

Justice Tuatagaloa pointed out there is no doubt that the defendant was indeed provoked, however, “anger fueled by alcohol is an explosive mixture. 

“It knows no boundaries and we have seen this time and time again with matters coming before the Court involving family members. “Alcohol should never be excused for one’s criminal behaviour or used as a defence.

The Judge also mentioned the unbearable pain endured by the parents when they lose a child at the hands of another child. 

“The huge impact of all this on this family but a loss of life is always taken very seriously by the Court, and the Court in sentencing takes the surrounding circumstances of the offending into account. In the circumstances of this offending a custodial sentence is nevertheless appropriate.” 

For the charge of manslaughter, the defendant is sentenced to 2 years + 7 months imprisonment and for the charge of armed with a dangerous weapon, the defendant is sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

The sentences are to be served concurrently less any time in custody.