28 Jun 2010

Supreme Court in Samoa discharged suspended police officer without conviction

10:48 am on 28 June 2010

The Supreme Court in Samoa has discharged without a conviction a suspended police officer who pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a woman.

The accused, Fa'ae'e Te'o, who is 24 has pleaded guilty to one count of assault but denied five counts of rape and one of abduction against the same woman.

In a separate trial earlier this year, a panel of assessors dismissed the other charges because the police had failed to prove them.

From the start of the case a bail application for the release of the accused from custody was denied because the complainant in her affidavit had insisted she was raped and assaulted in December last year.

Mr Te'o was kept in police custody for four months as a result.

Despite the suspended officer's guilty plea for one count of assault justice Lasatele Rapi Va'ai, said a custodial sentence would not appropriate.