Supreme Court hands down three sentences for manslaughter after bar fight that left man dead

The Supreme Court has imposed sentences on a group of men involved in what the judge called “a senseless and irrational waste of a life.”

Sione Feimoefiafi, right (Family photo)

The men were convicted on a range of charges following the death of Sione Feimoefiafi.

Mr Justice Cato said the accused and the deceased had been watching the final of an American football match in the Tali’eva Bar in Nuku’alofa on February 4, 2019. The match ended before the fight broke out in the late afternoon.

The fight lasted three minutes as it moved from inside the bar to the road.

“The bar had opened about 12pm and no doubt alcohol played a part in the irrational and brutal acts that followed,” the judge said.

“There was very little evidence as to the background for this offending. Feimoefiafi appeared to have annoyed some of the men earlier, but there was no evidence on his part of any conduct that could be said to have justified any assault by the accused whatever, still less the rampage of violence.

“All the accused acknowledged the violence he suffered at their hands was wrong, and I accept that their acknowledgement of this was genuine and his death was something they will have to live with, in addition to the sentences I have imposed.”

Siafa Nai, Kona’i Bloomfield and Vilaketi Bloomfield were convicted of manslaughter.

Tangi Nai and Sione Bloomfield pleaded guilty to common assault

Siafa Nai was sentenced to 12 and-a-half years backdated to take into account earlier periods of custody. The final two years of his sentence were suspended on condition, among other things, that he not commit any offences punishable by imprisonment during the period and undertake courses on alcohol abuse and anger management.

Kona’i Bloomfield was sentenced to 11 years and 6 months for manslaughter Like Nai, the last two years of his sentence was suspended on conditions.

Vilaketi Bloomfield was sentenced to eight years and nine months with the last two year suspended on conditions that he follow rules laid down by the court.

Tangi Nai was sentenced to 70 hours community work. The judge said Nai had pleaded guilty to the assault, was acquitted on other charges and spent a couple of months in custody on remand before being granted bail.

Sione Bloomfield was sentenced to 80 hours community work for common assault.

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