Valentin Pule jailed in drug and assault case


Valentin Pule has been sentenced to four years in jail. 

The 32-year-old of Fasitoo-tai appeared for sentence on three counts of possession of narcotics: marijuana loose leaves weighing 22.38 grams estimated to yield 31 marijuana cigarettes, 1040 marijuana seeds and one (1) marijuana joint; one count of actual bodily harm and one count of being armed with a dangerous weapon.

The recent sentencing was handed down by Justice Niava Mata Keli Tuatagaloa. 

The defendant has previous convictions of being armed with a dangerous weapon, threat to do grievous bodily harm, intentional damage and insulting words which shows he is a person with anger issues and is borderline violent.

The victim of the assault charge is his own 25 year old cousin who he lived with at the time of the offending.

It all started when the victim was looking for his Bluetooth speak which the defendant denied taking. Later, the victim found it in a bucket inside the defendant’s room. The bucket also contained marijuana substances.

Upon discovering the speaker was no longer in the bucket, the defendant armed with a square iron bar approached the victim and questioned him about the speaker with the knowledge that the speaker did not belong to him but his cousin (the victim).

“What really angered the defendant was the victim had seen what was inside the bucket.”

The defendant assaulted the victim with the iron bar on the head and to the side of his body resulting in a laceration and swelling to the left scalp and a large bruise to the left side of the victim’s body. The defendant’s family intervened and took the victim to the hospital where he received six (6) stitches to the laceration on his scalp.

The defendant’s sister later that day, the 25th of February 2023, reported the matter to the police which suspected marijuana substances in the defendant’s possession.

Prevalence and need for deterrence is not an aggravating factor says Justice Tuatagaloa. 

Her honours found it appropriate the starting point of five (5) years on the number of seeds found in the possession of the defendant.

A person in possession of more than 1000 seeds should, in my view, attract a sentence with a starting point no lower than 5 years because it is a substantial amount of marijuana plants and also taking into consideration the huge number of marijuana joints one can get from one fully grown marijuana plant.

Taking the totality approach the narcotic offences attract the same maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. For the drug charges the defendant was sentenced to four years and one month in jail and 

For the charges of actual bodily harm and being armed with a dangerous weapon he was sentenced to 2 years and one month however, sentencing is to be served concurrently meaning the defendant will serve 4 years and 1-month imprisonment, less time in custody.