Aucklander sentenced to home detention for killing factory workmate

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Section
Crime,
Publish Date
Thursday, 7 February 2019, 4:03p.m.
Lima Feleti Feleti killed Hamuwera Holloway (pictured) when he threw a metal tool at him while they were working in a packaging factory in East Tamaki. (Photo / Supplied)
Lima Feleti Feleti killed Hamuwera Holloway (pictured) when he threw a metal tool at him while they were working in a packaging factory in East Tamaki. (Photo / Supplied)

A teenager who admitted killing a workmate at an Auckland factory will not be facing any time behind bars.

Lima Feleti, 18, was instead sentenced to 10 months' home detention by Justice Kit Toogood during a hearing at the High Court in Auckland this week.

The teen had earlier pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 19-year-old Hamuwera Holloway.

Feleti killed Holloway when he threw a metal tool at him while they were working in a packaging factory in East Tamaki on September 7.

The row between the two had started before 8.40pm on September 7 last year when the pair were working at a "cardboard splitting machine" at Charta Packaging.

Holloway became annoyed when Feleti mis-fed cardboard into the machine, causing it to fall onto the ground.

Holloway then picked up the cardboard and threw it at Feleti.

"Although the cardboard missed you, an argument began and the two of you walked
towards one another as if intending to fight," Toogood said during Feleti's High Court sentencing.

The pair were separated by a co-worker, who urged them not to fight because they could lose their jobs.

They then went back to work, but shortly after Feleti picked up a T-shaped tool weighing 364 grams and flung it at Holloway.

"It was not very big or heavy, but it hit Mr Holloway in the face and he fell to the ground, bleeding heavily," Toogood said.

"You panicked, apologised, and attempted to give him first aid. He was removed by staff, but died a short time later as a result of a penetrating injury to his left cheek, immediately below his left eye."

When police were called, Feleti was upset and remorseful, explaining he had lost his temper and meant to throw it at Holloway's stomach.

"You said you did not know how it stabbed him in the eye," Toogood said.

Feleti's attack on Holloway was a "gross over-reaction" to a "minor dispute", Toogood said.

Feleti also committed the attack while on bail for another charge that is still to be determined.

Yet, there were also a number of mitigating factors, Toogood said.

He said Feleti had not planned to attack Holloway but rather made a "rash and impetuous decision in the spur of the moment".

"That is not to say it was not extremely reckless and dangerous," he said.

"But it was also thoughtless and lacking any vicious intent or pre-meditation."

There was also no evidence to contradict the claim the throw had been aimed at Holloway's stomach, while Feleti had also shown immediate and continued remorse afterwards.

The youngest of nine siblings, Feleti had finished one year of the Manukau Institute of Technology mechanical engineering course before leaving when he got a job.

However, he now hoped to go to university and had enrolled in a programme to help him make the transition.

He also remained connected to his church and attended mass every week.

A pre-sentence report writer said Feleti was a low-risk of reoffending, but raised concerns about his ability to deal with conflict in the future.

To this end, Feleti had begun attending a Living Without Violence programme and had offered to meet with Holloway's whānau "to engage in restorative justice" and explain how sorry he was for what he had done.

Holloway's whānau refused to meet with Feleti, telling the court their son, relative and friend was a "gentle giant", "cherried by all around him".

They talked of their feelings of disbelief, numbness and sorrow that Holloway had gone and would never see his 21st birthday.

In weighing this up, Toogood sentenced Feleti to 10 months' home detention.

"Sending you to prison would do you great harm and would do the community no good," he said.

"I am satisfied that home detention is the right sentence in your case."

 

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