21 Apr 2006

Pregnant Tongan woman jailed for forgery

3:33 pm on 21 April 2006

A pregnant woman and former bank teller at the Westpac Bank of Tonga has been sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Matakimoana Fiefia is to serve the sentence for forging a bank customer's signature and withdrawing over 1,000 US dollars from that account.

Justice Anthony Ford in his sentencing of the accused initially sentenced Matakimoana to 18 months in prison.

However after consideration of factors such as pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity and her cooperation with police, he suspended the last 12 months of her sentence for three years.

The website Matangi Tonga reports that the woman had since married and is carrying her first child that is due in July.

Justice Ford says when her due time is near the prison will give her all the care she needs.