‘Eua man jailed after rock hammer attack on wife

‘Ikai ke tui e fakamaau’anga lahi’ ki hono faka’ikai’i ki mui ‘e he husepāniti’ pehē ki hono uaifi na’e tā’anga ‘aki ia ‘e he husepāniti ha hāmala tā maka ‘o lavea hono ‘ulu’ mo hono la’e’. Pehē ‘e Fakamaau Laki Niu ia kuo’ ne tui ange ia ki he ‘uluaki fakamatala ‘a e uaifi ki he kau polisi’ mo ha toketā ne ‘i he falemahaki’ ‘o pehē ne tā’aki ia ‘e Toio Lauteau, 43, e hāmala’. Ko ia ne tautea ai ‘a Lauteau ke ngāue pōpula ta’u tolu kae toloi e ta’u ‘e ua fakamuimui ‘i ha’ane ‘atā hili e ta’u ‘e taha 'i he pilīsone'.

The man who hit her wife with a rock hammer wounding her forehead and back of her head has been sent to jail for  three years.

Judge Laki Niu has suspended the last  two years of his jail terms from the date of his release on the conditions that he committed no offence punishable with imprisonment for three years.

Toio Lauteau, 43, was found guilty of causing serious bodily harm to his wife on 7 May 2018 at their home at ‘Ohonua, of which he was convicted on 15 September 2020 after a two-day trial at Nuku’alofa Supreme Court.

Lauteau denied causing the injuries to his wife at all. His wife has also claimed that her husband did not cause the injuries that she sustained.

“You would maintain that she had fallen and cut her forehead on the corner of the table and had cut the back of her head on the corner of the walls of the hall way and the lounge,” Judge Niu said.

Mr Niu however did not buy it.

He said three things proved that Lauteau caused the injuries to his wife:

“When your wife arrived at the hospital at ‘Eua, she was covered in blood and she had facial swelling and back of the head swelling and two cuts – one “L” cut on the right side of the forehead and a lineal cut on the back of the head.

“She told the doctor that you had hit her with a rock hammer and caused those injuries. She also told the police officer, Viliami ‘Arnone, the same thing and he wrote her statement and she signed it as the truth.

“The doctor required that she see the rock hammer herself to decide whether or not to require your wife to be sent to Vaiola Hospital for Xray of her skull to ensure there was no cranial fracture or indentation or haemorrhage. She inspected the rock hammer, and she was positive that the two cuts to your wife’s forehead and back of the head were caused by the rock hammer. (c) The doctor herself observed that your wife looked scared and shocked.

“I am sure she was scared for her life and that is consistent with her description in her statement which Viliami ‘Arnone wrote down of what you had done to her, namely, hitting her on her forehead and on the back of her head with the rock hammer.”

Lauteau’s counsel Sione Taione said there was big change in his client’s life when he gave up drinking.

“You have now shown maturity and responsibility and respectability, and you have become a good member of the church, abstaining from tobacco, alcohol and drugs. He accordingly submits that it would be appropriate that the imprisonment sentence to be imposed on you be fully suspended.”

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