Samoa video attacker gets suspended sentence

A 14 year old teenager charged with assault after a video surfaced that showed him beating another youth was last week given a six month suspended sentence.

A video was filmed on a mobile phone in 2011 and subsequently uploaded to the internet. The victim is 11 year-old.

The defendant’s appearance was on Thursday in the Youth Court before District Court Judge, Vaepule Alo Vaemoa Vaai.

The youth pleaded guilty to one count of assault. Names cannot be published as a result of the ages of the attacker and the victim, as outlined under Section 8 of the Young Offenders Act.

The Police summary of facts stated that the victim was out shopping when he was chased and caught by three attackers.

The video shows the boy being punched, kicked and his head stood on. Two others allegedly involved in the attack have pleaded not guilty. They are 19-years old and 21-years old, both from the same village.

That pair will have their hearing next month. Outside the courtroom, the victim said he has not forgiven the defendants involved in the attack.

“They should come and beg me”, he told the Samoa Observer reporter.

He said since the time of the incident up to now, he is still angry.

“I’ll never forgive and forget because everyone else saw in that film, and on TV, that boy beating me and stepping on my head.”

The boy said he could not remember the details of the attack until he saw it all again on video. He felt ashamed and embarrassed. But the victim’s grandmother also said her family has forgiven the youths.

“Even though it is very painful what this man did to my grandson, but I will forgive them”, the grandmother said.

“I promise you I never saw that video.”

She said she only knew about it after victim’s mother had watched the video and came to her crying.

She admits at first wanting to get back at the defendant in the same way they attacked her grandson.

But quoting an old saying, “O au o matua fanau, e leai se matua e le alofa i sana fanau” - “parents love each and every one of their children.”

“I was thinking of going to church everyday if we didn’t have the heart to forgive.”


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