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Kolofo’ou man jailed 8 years for killing drunk soldier who slapped his wife’s face


A Kolofo’ou man has been sentenced to eight years’ jail for stabbing a drunk soldier to death with a knife he carried after using it in a cookery at a family funeral .

Tevita Halalima Hafoka was 25 when he killed Sioeli Finau of Pelehake during a street fight in Nuku’alofa on July 11, 2015.

In sentencing Hafoka Justice Charles Cato told the Supreme Court “an appropriate starting point before mitigation would be 8 years to reflect the fact that the prisoner had used a knife and caused death in circumstances where the assault on his wife had  involved  a  slap”.

Mr. Cato has suspended the final two years of Hafoka’s sentence on the following conditions:

  • He commits no offences punishable by imprisonment for the period of his suspension;
  • He is placed on probation for the period of his suspension;
  • He is to live where directed by his probation officer;
  • He is to undergo the following courses under the direction of probation;
  • A course on drug and   alcohol   abuse under  the direction also of the Salvation Army;
  • An anger management course.
  • He is not to consume alcohol or drugs during his suspension.

The court was told the prisoner had been at a bar in Nuku’alofa with his  wife  and wife’s sister.

The bar closed at 11.30pm and the accused, his wife and sister left the bar and proceeded to the Nukualofa town square whilst the deceased with friends visited a coffee bar nearby.

A short while later, the deceased, who was intoxicated, walked over to the accused’s wife and asked her for sex.

This angered her and she swore at the deceased. He slapped her on the face. The accused saw the deceased slap his wife and he returned to the area.

He attacked the deceased and they commenced to fight.

The deceased then ran away and called out to the accused from a nearby area to fight with him.

The accused ran to him and took out a small knife from a pocket in his pants and stabbed the deceased in the left side of the abdomen.

The deceased fell to the ground and the accused, having thrown the knife away, went back to his wife.

The deceased was rushed to hospital by the police but he was declared dead on arrival.

The medical report stated that the deceased had died of cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to hemtherae from the stab wound.

The accused was co-operative with police and admitted to the offending.

The court was also told the prisoner has a history of convictions and past sentences including a housebreaking and  theft in 2005.

He had more thefts in 2008 for which he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, the judgement said.

He was involved in unlawful assembly, riot and destroying a building for which he was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

The prisoner also appeared in court for causing grievous bodily harm for which he was sentence to four years and six months imprisonment.

Other criminal activities he committed including escaping from  lawful custody;  trespass and drunkenness.

Mr Cato said  although Hafoka has a poor criminal record history he should be given a further chance to rehabilitate himself.

He said the prisoner was cooperative with the police, remorseful and made an apology to the deceased’s family which was accepted.