Hu'atolitoli prison

A man has been sentenced to six year’s jail in the Supreme Court for an attempted rape the judge described as “vicious.”

Hemaloto Makafilia, 23, pleaded guilty before Mr Justice Cato to one count of attempted rape, serious housebreaking, common assault, and theft.

During the crime, Makafilia knocked his victim unconscious by hitting her on the head with a steel pole.

He was only stopped when his girlfriend discovered him and made him stop.

The incident took place on May 26 last year in a school where the woman was working as a volunteer teacher.

“I have no doubt that but for the timely intervention of the prisoner’s girlfriend, the complainant would have suffered the complete humiliation of rape,” the judge said.

Mr Justice Cato said the victim had suffered physically and psychologically. She had lost half her hearing in one ear, her balance was affected and she was in pain because she had lost a number of teeth.

She suffers from vertigo and dizziness, tires easily, has short term memory loss and suffers from flashback and nightmares.

She is afraid to go anywhere alone  and constantly  looks over  her shoulder.

The accused had three previous convictions  for theft, two for housebreaking , unlawful possession of drugs, and escaping from lawful custody.

“Makafilia represents a  grave  danger to   society   and   is  a   person  from   whom   Society   requires   the protection of a  lengthy  sentence  of imprisonment,” Mr Justice Cato said.

“In   my   view,   the sentence  must  be  one  which  reflects  the  wanton  callousness  of the  attack  and  serves  to  protect  women  in Tonga,  volunteers  as well  as Tongan  women,  from  this  kind of  predatory  conduct,  and serves  also as a firm deterrent.”

The main points

  • A man has been sentenced to six year’s jail in the Supreme Court for an attempted rape the judge described as “vicious.”
  • Hemaloto Makafilia, 23, pleaded guilty before Mr Justice Cato to one count of attempted rape, serious housebreaking, common assault, and theft.
  • During the crime, Makafilia knocked his victim unconscious by hitting her on the head with a steel pole.
  • Makafilia represented a grave  danger to   society, the judge said.