Aniseko Taofinu’u convicted of negligent driving causing the death of his brother and injuring another man, when the vehicle crashed has been sentenced to seven months in jail.
The defendant appeared before Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren for sentencing yesterday.
According to the Amended Summary of facts on 4 March 2022, the accused was at his plantation collecting bananas for a family funeral. Both victims were helping him and while on the road Taofinuu was speeding and lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a breadfruit tree.
“One of the victims sitting in the front passenger seat died on impact. The second victim who sat in the back seat behind the accused sustained bruises and abrasions on his legs and back area. The medical doctor ruled that the cause of death is head injury.”
Justice Tuala-Warren said Taofinuu a 20-year-old student, does not deny that he was speeding and also does not have a valid driver’s licence.
“The deceased is his biological brother who was adopted out. He says that on the day of the offending, he was assisting with preparations for a funeral. He was in a rush and recalls hitting a breadfruit tree but then fell unconscious. He came to and saw that his younger brother’s neck was broken so he tried to remove his brother from the vehicle.”
His lawyer, says the defendant deeply regrets the manner in which he drove and he will live the rest of his life with the guilt and burden that his actions resulted in the death of his brother and injury to his friend.
Justice Tuala-Warren says there are two victims of this offending, the deceased, a 19-year-old boy from Nofoalii.
“She is hurting and she says that the ifoga and the accused’s family’s contribution to the funeral will not bring her son back. ”
The other victim is 21-year-old Apelu Tile Maiava, also of Nofoalii. He says that he can no longer walk properly because of the injury to his leg.
Justice Tuala-Warren outlined a three years start point and deducted 7 months for the ifoga and 7 months for the contribution of the accused’s family to the funeral of the deceased.
“I deduct one month for trying to mitigate the harm to the deceased by trying to get him out of the
“I deduct 4 months for his personal circumstances, 3 months for his age, 2 months for his remorse and one month for the consequent emotional shock of killing his biological brother . Lastly for his early guilty pleas I deduct 4 months.
“I realise that any punishment imposed by the Court will be overshadowed by your guilt of being responsible for the death of your biological brother. I only hope that with the determination of this matter, the families involved will begin to heal from an unbearable loss.”