Young man jailed in assault case


Duncan Ualesi of Saleimoa has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for one charge of causing serious bodily injury with intent and one charge of being armed with a dangerous weapon pursuant. 

Ualesi pleaded guilty to the charges and appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday for sentencing presided over by Justice Tologata Leilani Tuala-Warren. 

According to the summary of facts on 3 March 2022, the accused, victim and a mutual friend were in a drinking session. While they were walking on the road, Ualesi suddenly punched the victim in the jaw causing the victim to fall down and become unconscious. 

While the victim was on the ground unconscious, the accused hit the victim with a stone on the head 3 times. 

As a result, the victim sustained a fractured jaw and a swollen face. Bystanders assisted the victim and reported the matter to the Police. The accused is 23 years old,  a first offender and was drinking Rover vodka during the offence. 

Justice Tuala-Warren says the aggravating features of this offence are the use of a rock, attacking the victim while he was unconscious and defenceless; and the extent of the injuries sustained by the victim and its long-term effects as the father of the victim has said his son is slower in his responses.

“This is yet another case of alcohol-induced violence. Intoxication is not a mitigating factor. The Court has commented on this numerous times. I commend the move by the Liquor Board to ban Rover vodka amongst another locally produced vodka.” 

Having regard to the aggravating features relating to the offending, her honours started with a 4 years imprisonment sentence for the offence of causing serious bodily injury with intent. 

“I deduct 10 months for his age, 10 months for his previous good character, 8 months for voluntarily turning himself into Police, and 10 months for his early guilty pleas. 

He is therefore convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment. For the armed charged he is convicted and sentenced to 4 months imprisonment to be served concurrently.

Time spent in custody to be taken away.”