Former Police Officer Jailed in Tonga for 7 Years for "Henous and Despicable Offence" |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-09-15 00:24.
It was in a ‘dark cell’ at the station that the crime was committed by the accused. The Court heard that the accused almost choked the complainant by clutching her neck and strangling her. He then left her on the floor of the cell and fled and the complainant called out to him saying she would lodge a complaint against him and at the same time swearing at him.
Justice Ford revealed that when Fungavai was convicted, a probation report was ordered in preparation for his sentencing. The report, which was subsequently received by the Court, also divulged that the probation officer – on his own initiative – held a Restorative Justice conference between the defendant and the victim and other support people. Two meetings were consequently convened, and according to Justice Ford, from what he had heard of the meetings, it had been a difficult experience for the complainant as she had cried throughout the meetings and had said, in no uncertain terms, that the defendant had ruined her life.
Justice Ford added that apparently the defendant had apologised during the restorative justice meetings and the apology was evidently accepted by the complainant. Justice Ford commented that the probation report had recommended a non-custodial sentence and 100-hours of voluntary community work as the sentence for the defendant and apparently this had been the result of the restorative justice conference.
However, Justice Ford added, the recommendation that this non-custodial sentence and 100-hours of voluntary community work as a befitting punishment for such an atrocious crime, was beyond him. He said a fitting punishment was needed in this case as a deterrent to other police officers, warning them to never ever abuse the trust that has been bestowed upon them by the public.
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