Jailed for shooting wife

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 11:15 13/12/2013

Relevant offers

Crime

Private Business, Public Failure: Inside Our Prisons Group refused entry to bar before Christchurch car park brawl Ronald Edward Growcott, 90, sentenced on historic sex charge Perpetual Guardian client manager Robert Thomas Clark admits theft 13 arrests made at Auckland's Christmas in the Park, despite low turnout Hamilton cops seek help in attempted toddler abduction case Passing muster: The struggle to fix our sick, bloated, 'stinking' prisons Former naval officer who was raped wants compensation and culture change Woman found dead at Upper Hutt home, as police hunt for up to four men 86-year-old woman terrified after house blasted with shotgun fire

A man who shot his former wife point-blank in the head has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years.

Sione Vaioleti, 61, was found guilty of attempted murder in a trial in the High Court at Auckland in November.

In a drunken rage, the Tongan overstayer shot his former wife, Losaline Fifita, in the face on June 16, 2012.
The bullet entered her jaw above her left front teeth and travelled the entire breadth of her head before it lodged in the back of her neck.

The projectile came within millimetres of all the major arteries that service the brain but missed them all.

Her survival was repeatedly described as "miraculous" by medical experts.

She spent a month in hospital before being released back to her family.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Fifita said her jaw had been so badly damaged she could not have false teeth fitted.

She was so scared after the attack that her son had to sit through the night with her while she was in hospital.

Fifita said she knew her husband was a hard man but she stayed with him because he was her husband.

"I knew that one day he would really hurt me but I never expected him to do a thing like this."

The trial heard that after the shooting, emergency services did not realise Fifita had been shot.

The ambulance officers who attended the call to their Druces Rd, Manukau, home found Fifita with blood and swelling on her face, like she had been beaten.

She was moving around, though, and neither of the ambulance officers suspected she had been shot after their examination of her.

At Middlemore Hospital, a nurse and a doctor examined the mother-of-six but it was only after she was sent for a CT scan that they discovered that she had been shot.

The bullet was found lodged in the back of Mrs Fifita's upper neck, sitting a few centimetres below the skin.

Vaioleti went to a police station after the shooting and confessed, though he later changed his story and said he shot her with his "hand".

Justice John Priestley said it was a serious attack on an elderly woman who was in her bed at the time.

He said Vaioleti had several previous convictions for violence and had been deported from New Zealand in the past following an assault.

He managed to re-enter New Zealand on a Fijian passport in 2006.

The judge sentenced him to 10 years, six months, after which he will be deported to Tonga again.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content