The Southland Times from 11th April 2009
"I hope he dies in jail because he has ruined my life." This was one of the tearful messages read out to Invercargill man Tonise Seiuli as he was sentenced on 65 historic child-sex charges in the Invercargill District Court on Thursday. Seiuli, 60, was sentenced by Judge Kevin Phillips to nine years' and two months' jail with a minimum non-parole period of five and a half years, after he admitted charges of sexual violation and indecent assault.
The offences dated back to the early and mid-1980s. The three victims were all under 16 at the time of the offending. The sentencing came after each victim read out her victim impact statement in court. One victim said she had known what Seiuli was doing was wrong, but had been scared to speak out in case no-one believed her. Another said she had suffered anxiety and depression as a result of the offending, while the third said she no longer trusted anyone.
All three said Seiuli had ruined their lives. However, members of the Samoan Methodist Church, in court to support Seiuli, said the man described by the three women was not the one they knew. Seiuli's defence counsel Hugo Young also said Seiuli had changed his ways since the offending. However, Judge Phillips said regardless of whether Seiuli was a changed man, what he had done to the three young girls would "remain with them forever".
The offending had spanned six or seven years, and the girls' lives had been "devastated" by his actions, Judge Phillips said. Seiuli was "quite clearly" a child sex offender and paedophile who had raped, sexually violated, and indecently assaulted young vulnerable girls, Judge Phillips said.
Date of Birth
1948 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 9 years 2 months with a 5 year 6 month non-parole period in April 2009
Successfully appealed the minimum sentence in July 2009
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Tonise Seiuli Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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