Army officer

Army officer gets suspended sentence in Vavaʻu manslaughter case

Judge Charles Cato said although violence was involved there was no evidence that Petelō Tapueluelu punched Kelekōlio Fahiua in the head.

“I consider that this case falls in the lower range,” Judge Cato said.

After considering all the circumstances of the offending as well as Tapueluelu’s character, his cooperation and guilty plea the judge said: “I consider it appropriate to fully suspend his sentence.”

Tapueluelu, 28, admitted he unlawfully punched Fahiua, 18, on 30 December 2016 in Neiafu causing serious injuries to his spine. He died in hospital on arrival.