Teen who blinded a man with a brick he hurled during a drunken attack gets jail terms

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Coat of Arms of Tonga. Photo/Kalino Latu

The 18-year-old male teenager who hurled a brick in which struck a man in his right eye in Longoteme leaving him blind  has been sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.

Mumuhu Pou’uhila was sentenced on December 14 after it was confirmed he did willfully and without legal justification cause grievous bodily harm to Nelesoni Tu’itavake when he threw a brick that hit his face causing the destruction of his eyeball.

He was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Court documents showed Tu’itavake was drinking with friends when it was noticed that his brother had disappeared.

He and friends located him with a number of young men and he appeared to skirmish with one of them.

Tu’itavake held back his brother and they left.

At one stage they heard a number of young men challenging them to a fight.  They were told no one is to back down.

Tu’itavake went to see what the commotion was about with his friends, and saw a number of young men running towards him.

The prisoner threw a brick at Tu’itavake’s face causing him to fall to the ground and black out momentarily.

The victim was further assaulted by others of the group. The accused played no further part in the fight other than throwing the brick.

Tu’itavake was taken to hospital. A preliminary medical report of the 19 April 2017 noted that he had multiple broken facial bones around the right orbit of his face.

On that basis, Judge Charles Cato imposed a starting point of five years’ imprisonment for Pou’uhila’s charge, but this was reduced to three and six months after Mr. Cato allowed a one year mitigation entitlement for his early guilty plea.

Mr. Cato also further mitigated  the starting point by an additional six months to reflect Pou’uhila’s age, and the fact he has no previous convictions. He has offered an apology and was remorseful.

Mr. Cato suspended the final 18 months of his sentence on the following conditions:

  • He is not to commit any offences punishable by imprisonment for the period of his suspension;
  • He is placed on probation for the term of his suspension to live where directed by his probation officer;
  • He is not to consume alcohol during the period of his suspension;
  • He is to attend a course on life skills and violence under the direction of his probation

“The sentence  I impose on him for grievous bodily harm is three and half years imprisonment backdated to the time he was remanded in custody for this offending,” Mr. Cato said.

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