A father and his two sons have been convicted in the Supreme Court over an assault in October last year.
Kali Malupo was convicted of grievous bodily harm and his sons, Sione and Siaosi Malupo were each convicted of common assault.
During a fight on October 31, 2022, Kali Malupo struck Filihai Li on the head with a machete, leaving an open wound.
Malupo was town officer for his village.
The incident began when Li, who was drunk, was standing in the road in Manuku, Tongatapu with his father, Melikiola. Kali, who was sitting in his vehicle, moved his vehicle towards Li, who then smashed a front headlight.
The Honourable Justice Cooper, presiding, said Kali left his vehicle and swung his machete at Li, hitting him on the third attempt. Li was unarmed and there was no evidence he ever had a weapon or that anybody thought he had one.
The judge said the injury to Li could have been worse if his father had not tackled Kali at the crucial moment.
“I accept Melikiola Li’s account that had he not done this, Filihai Li’s head would have been, in his words, split in two,” the judge said.
Sione and Siaosi Malupo joined the attack. The judge said the sons were not acting from any motive to protect their father or to defend their property.
“Their attacks, both in tandem, as they were and lasting as long as they did, revealed levels of anger and violence going far beyond and possible argument of self-defence,” the judge said.
“I am quite sure they continued to attack Filihai Li after he was grievously injured. This was strong evidence of their state of mind from the start; that they were determined upon violently dealing with Filihai Li for violence’s sake and did so.
“It was a sustained assault, punching with fists, starting before Filihai Li received his head injury and continuing after that when both defendants attacked the victim in his ‘api and at a time he was in desperate need of medical care.”
The judge said Malupo was not really remorseful. He denied that he attacked the victim chasing him down and he asserted the dishonest version of events that he was attacked in his car.
He said recommendations for probation and a discharge without conviction for the sons lacked all merit.
Kali Malupo was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, with the last two years suspended for two years on conditions.
Sione Malupo was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, the last two months suspended for one year on conditions.
Siaosi Malupo was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, the last two months suspended for 1 year on conditions.