From the Christchurch Press November 29th 2001
A man caught in a suburban bedroom touching a sleeping woman's leg has been sentenced to three years in prison. Pio Sipa, 36, yesterday continued to deny charges of unlawfully entering a house, indecent assault, and burglary arising from the February 24 incident, in which the victim said in evidence she thought his touch was a snake crossing her leg.
A jury found Sipa guilty earlier this month, but lawyer Leuatea Iosefa said his client considered himself innocent. "I have been instructed to make it clear from the outset that my client does not accept the verdict of the jury, that he continues to maintain his innocence." The victim had identified Sipa in court as the man she saw crouching at her feet after the 3am incident, and the same man she saw running away.
He was also the same man who approached the house from the direction in which the man fled some 10 minutes later, stopping to converse with the victim and her partner. But Mr Iosefa said that meeting was a coincidence, and that his inebriated client was not the man in the bedroom. Judge Murray Abbott said the continued denial could not affect sentencing, because a jury had already concluded Sipa was the man who touched the woman's leg as she slept.
Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae said the offending was serious, especially given society's revulsion toward home-invasion type crimes. The indecent assault had to be dealt with strongly, and a lengthy custodial sentence imposed. Mr Iosefa said imprisonment would mean his client would be taken from his terminally ill mother and that he would be deported back to Samoa at the end of his sentence.
From the Christchurch Press March 20th 2002
The Court of Appeal has reduced the sentence imposed for a Christchurch home invasion. Tuli Ielemia, 36, also known as Pio Sipa, had nine months trimmed from the three-year jail term he received in the Christchurch District Court.
Date of Birth
1965 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to three years in November 2001
Later reduced on appeal to two years nine months
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Tuli Ielemia AKA Pio Sipa Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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