Man gets five years’ jail for housebreaking, theft; fully suspended sentence for meth possession

The man charged after $32,000 worth of goods stolen from ‘Ana Kama’s house on 19 February 2019 has been sent to jail.

On the charge of serious housebreaking, Lafitani Mahe was convicted and sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment.

On the charge of theft,  he was convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Both sentences were to be served concurrently.

On the charge of possession of a Class A drug he was convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment. The sentence is fully suspended on conditions.

The court heard, ‘Ana Kama returned home and discovered that some louvers from a window at her house had been removed.

Upon inspection of her house, she discovered the following items were missing:

  • 1 x 40 ft Fihu loua valued at TOP $4000;
  • 4 x 15 ft Paongo mat valued at TOP$4000;
  • 5x 8’5ft, 1×6’4 & 3×4’3, 2x Ngafingafi mats valued at TOP$20,000;
  • 1x20ft Tapa valued at $2000
  • 2xBluetooth speakers valued at TOP$500;
  • 1 !phone valued at TOP$500;
  • 1 Ipad valued at TOP$500
  • Cash of $500; 8.

She notified police who were able to successfully lift a fingerprint from the louvers that were removed.

On 20 February 2019, ‘Ana’s son found the stolen bluetooth speakers on Facebook being advertised for sale by a man identified as Viliami Ongosia.

Mr. Ongosia told Police Mahe had approached him that day and asked him to advertise the speakers online for sale.

Mahe was then arrested and charged with housebreaking and theft. Police fingerprint expert analysed the fingerprint found on the louvers and confirmed that they belonged to Mahe.  Apart from the speakers, none of the items that were stolen were ever recovered.

Mahe did not cooperate with the Police and he has previous convictions.

Drug arrest

On 8 July 2019, Police received reliable information of potential drug dealing at the residence of Talia’uli Fatongiatau at Pili.

At approximately 5pm, the police went to the resident and saw Mahe sitting inside a car with Fatongiatau and Ue’ikaetau Tapa’atoutai. When Mahe saw the police he ran and Officer Vaka chased after him before he stopped and returned back to where the Police were standing.

Officer Vaka walked to the area where Mahe had stopped running and found a plastic packet containing four small packets of methamphetamine. Mahe admitted to the Police that the drugs were his. The drugs weighed 1.4 grams. He has previous convictions.

Justice Langi sent Mahe to jail on his drug charge for 12 months, which was wholly suspended on conditions that he is  not to commit any further offences punishable by imprisonment for a period of 1 year upon his release and be placed on probation during the period of his suspension.

Mrs Langi also activated the suspended sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment imposed on 5 December 2018 to be served cumulative to his sentence on house breaking and theft.

“If my calculation is correct, the Accused will therefore serve a total of 5 years and 6 months’ imprisonment,” Justice Langi said.

“As requested by the Crown, I order that the drugs seized are destroyed and all items associated with drugs such as the weighing apparatus and plastic packs and cash are forfeited to the Crown.”

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