Friday, 21 May 2010 9:54 AM

Former Samoan RAMSI Officer Faces Sentencing Today

The High Court will pass judgment today on a former Samoan RAMSI Officer responsible for the death of a young woman at Tasahe area in 2008.

Justice Rex Foukona adjourned the case of Misi Matamu after hearing the sentence submissions of the Crown and defence counsel this morning.

Mr Matamu, who was working as a RAMSI PPF Officer in the country at the time of the incident, had pleaded guilty to charges of reckless driving causing death and reckless driving causing danger to another person in the vehicle.

Appearing for the crown, Rebecca Christensen says the accused should be given the five years maximum penalty. She concluded in her submission that the case is a serious matter where a young innocent girl lost her life and the safety of a passenger in the vehicle was placed in significant danger.

She says this was a case where the respondent has taken a deliberate course of action and put many people at risk, and is a very serious example of deliberate dangerous driving.

Meanwhile, Linda McSpeden who appeared for the defence says the court should only consider a maximum of two years on the accused.

She says the Court should take into account the facts that the offences of the RAMSI officer had occurred when he was not on duty.

She stated that the prisoner admitted to consuming alcohol but since no one saw how many he took, it cannot be said he was in any way affected by the alcohol he had drunk .

She says various eye witnesses attributed various estimates of speed at different times and from different vantage points during the lead up to the accident.

Ms McSpeden says the person is of good character, had been terminated from his RAMSI position resulting in economic hardship and financial loss, and had pleaded guilty to the High Court on the 30th of April.

She says the accused had shown remorse over the incident.