Judge suspends drug possession sentence after early guilty plea and co-operation with police

Tautea toloi e tangata ne ma’u mo e faito’o konatapu kalasi ko e mefi. Ne puke e tangata’ ni ‘mo e faito'o' 'i ha ‘ohofi ne fai ‘e he kau polisi lolotonga ne nau ‘i he fale ngāue ‘o e toko taha ko Kuliti Tongamoa fakataha mo ‘Epeli Taione.

The Supreme Court has given a man a suspended sentence for possession of methamphetamine.

Tome Suasau appeared before Judge E.M.Langi on a charge of possession after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

The court was told that on January 25 this year, police raided the workplace of Kuliti Tongamoa at ‘Umusi. Tongamoa and ‘Epeli Taione were present at the time of the raid.

The police found a plastic dealer bag containing white powder on top of a small work table next to Tongamoa. The police arrested Suasau and the other two. During questioning he confessed to being in possession of Class A drugs weighing a total of 0.48 grams.

The court heard that Suasau told the probation officer that he was having a few beers with his friends at Tongamoa’s residence before the police raid.

He admitted to taking drugs for his own personal use, but said he did not know about the drugs inside the bag. He said he pleaded guilty because all three of them were inside the house.

The prosecution said that Class A drugs were a scourge on society, but in mitigation the accused had been co-operative and had no prior convictions.

Judge Langi sentenced Suasau to eight months in prison, but suspended the sentence completely  because he had pleaded guilty and co-operated with the police.

The suspension is based on Suasau not committing any further offences punishable by imprisonment for a period of two years and completing the Salvation Army Drugs and Alcohol Awareness Program and Life Skills Course within the first year of his suspension.

He also has to undertake 70 hours of community work.

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