Reverend convicted of assault applies for discharge without conviction


Reverend Poasa Leaupepe who pleaded guilty to the assault of a boy who died in Safotu two years is filing an application for a discharge without conviction. 

The defendant appeared before District Court Judge, Alalatoa Rosella Papalii today for sentencing, however, sought an adjournment through his lawyer Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt, to allow them time to file a discharge without conviction application. 

Judge Papalii granted the motion giving Leaupepe the opportunity to be heard on the proposed application. 

However, her honors “warned” that just because she’s giving them the chance to file and to be heard does not mean the application will be granted.

The Judge then ordered the defence to file the application by tomorrow 5 July and for the prosecution to file a response on 12 July. Her honors will deliver her decision on Monday the 7 August 2022. 

During his last appearance, Judge Papalii ordered a victim impact report on this matter. 

This case was initially held before the Supreme Court however a motion was filed by the prosecution to reduce the manslaughter charge to assault against Reverend Leaupepe after the autopsy report confirmed the young boy died from leukemia complications.

The defendant was initially charged with manslaughter, grievous bodily harm, and actual bodily harm, however, pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of assault from the felony country of manslaughter.

The rest of the criminal charges were withdrawn.

The incident occurred in February 2020 at Safotu, where the defendant serves as a Church Minister. The police report says Reverend Leaupepe assaulted the victim, and a few weeks later the boy died at the hospital.

This matter is also on the calendar of the District Court for an inquest hearing.