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Tattooist fined for kidnapping

A master tattooist, whose name is suppressed by the Samoa Supreme Court, has been fined $1,300 for kidnapping a girl while heavily intoxicated.

A suppression order from the Court prevents the publication of the man’s name and that of the 21-year-old he kidnapped.

Presiding over the matter was His honour Justice Vui Clarence Nelson.

Representing the defendant was lawyer, Lei’ataualesa Jerry Brunt.

The Court heard the incident occurred on June 9 last year at 6pm.

The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping earlier in the matter.

The Court heard the man is a 58-yearold father of eight children. He is a master tattooist who earns a living from his skills. He is also the owner of an Alia vessel, which he uses for his own personal purposes as well as transporting family from his village to neighbouring villages.

The Court heard that on the night of the incident, the complainant was waiting for her usual alia to collect her from her place of work to her village.

When her usual transport did not come, she asked the defendant for a ride on his alia to her family’s home, the Court was told, to which the defendant agreed to give her a lift.

In the defendant’s probation report he had been drinking that day after celebrating completion of a tatau in another village.

According to the Police Summary of Facts he was quite intoxicated so during the boat trip he made some inappropriate remark to the complainant.

What that remark was, was not revealed in the Police Summary of Facts, said Justice Vui, but the complainant refused to comply with the defendant’s request.

The Court heard that the boat passed the complainant’s family’s house and stopped on a deserted part of the Island where the defendant brought out $100 from his pocket and made the same remark to the girl.

Frightened of what the defendant could do to her she quickly sent a text to her mother telling her where they were, according to the Summary of Facts.

The Summary of Facts stated the defendant continued to pester the complainant but stopped when the girl’s phone rang. It was her family calling.

That was when the defendant stopped what he was doing and headed back in the direction they had come from to drop the girl off, according to the Summary.

According to the Victim Impact Report the complainant felt lucky nothing happened to her apart from the defendant kidnapping her against her will, said Justice Vui.

He said the defendant and his wife apologised to the girl and her family for what happened and that the apology was accepted and the two families “have reconciled”.

Justice Vui in passing sentence told the defendant that he could be imprisoned up to 10 years as this is the maximum penalty for this offence.

“You were intoxicated on the evening in question and you should not have been at the wheel of the boat,” he said.

Justice Vui reminded the defendant that he was 27 years older than the complainant and that she has trusted him and this was why she got on his boat.

Instead what he did was try to get her to agree to some kind of inappropriate act by offering her $100.

“Perhaps fortunately for you, your only offence is kidnapping,” Justice Vui said.

“You didn’t do anything to do this woman.

“If you had put your hands on this young lady you would have certainly received an imprisonment term.”

Justice Vui said he accepted that there was no premeditation in the incident, that the defendant was heavily intoxicated and that he had already apologised to the girl and her family and that it was accepted and there was reconciliation.

The defendant was ordered not to commit this offence again.



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