Weekend jail leave canned afer Facebook boast

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 09:43 24/12/2013

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A convicted fraudster has discovered it doesn't pay to boast about her good luck on Facebook.

Former beauty queen Tafolosa Bloomfield was jailed in Tonga earlier this year for three years after being convicted of embezzling T$179,782 (NZ$118,000) and airline tickets from her employer.

But, Matangi Tonga reports, she was allowed out of jail on weekends within weeks of being imprisoned.

She even celebrated it on Facebook.

"Today I got picked up by my husband at 8am, heading home to give the kids a surprise," she posted.

"You should have seen my children's faces when I walked through the door!"

But not all her "friends" were impressed and Matangi Tonga says Commissioner of Prisons Sione Falemanu has cancelled her weekend leave.

"It was not for her to tell everyone in Facebook or to go out shopping and to show people that she was in and out of jail . . . so from now on Tafolosa's furlough has been suspended," he said.

"Her husband and the children visited her every weekend, and in my own judgment, for the wellbeing of Tafolosa, her children and her husband I allowed her to be with her family during one weekend in a month."

A lawyer who acted for her victims, Ralph Stephenson, said the leave was making a mockery of the justice system.

"It must also be said that Ms Bloomfield cannot have had the best interests of her children in mind when she committed the offences of which she has now been convicted," Stephenson told Matangi Tonga.

"If you can't do the time, then don't do the crime."

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- Fairfax Media

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