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Two members of “Hospital Boys Killers” gang in Samoa sentenced for being in a “gang”

Apia, SAMOA —The two young men who were arrested and charged in connection with being gang members in Samoa have been sentenced. Alesana Levi and Sio Lameko, who are both 18-years old were each facing one count of carrying out an unlawful assembly or being involved in a gang.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges last month and were up for sentencing last week. According to the police summary of facts the young men are both members of the HBK Gang otherwise known as the “Hospital Boys Killers”.

Court filings or Summary of Facts say that on the 30th of July 2016 in Apia, police were on duty in front of the government building to patrol the Youth Alive Concert held that night and the young men were present and were assembled with three other boys. Their plan was to find members of another gang, the OBO (Original Blood Outlaw)  “to cause trouble with them.”

The police report further said that while the defendants were with the three others on the look-out for members of the OBO, police must have become suspicious and then questioned the young men who gave their cell phones to the Police Officers and the cell phones disclosed their plan was to “commit an offense against the OBO boys.”

The young men further told the court that they are no longer members of the HBK gang. During sentencing, it was uncovered the young men were both expelled from school.

District Court Judge Leaiataualesa Darryl Clarke noted the court took into account their guilty pleas; their ages; and both have expressed remorse for their offending.

“I suspect your remorse stems from being brought before the Court and the risk of your imprisonment more than anything else. Nevertheless, I will accept what you have said and give you some credit for the remorse you have stated,” Leaiataualesa said, adding that despite the extensive steps taken by the community, the Courts, and the Police to address this type of offending, “some of the youth in the community like yourselves continue to gather in groups and in your case, in something ridiculously called the ‘Hospital Boys Killers’, to cause fights with others and breach the peace.”

He noted “that our young people continue to ignore the steps taken by the community, the Courts, and Police to address this type of offending in a constructive and meaningful way, is the cause of serious concern. You both said that you were present when the Prime Minister attended Avele College and warned you of the consequences of this type of offending by school students.”

The judge said, “As I also made quite clear to both of you, if you remained members of the so called HBK today, I would contemplate an imprisonment term on you. This is because you remained a member of this ‘gang’ and had learnt nothing from your experience with the police and the Court, then a deterrent sentence involving imprisonment would be considered so that it is quite clear that membership of these so called youth gangs that plan unlawful and anti-social acts is not acceptable.”

Leaiataualesa continued, “There is no future for you to be involved in such a group. I will also accept what you have both said that you are sorry for your offending and are remorseful. Whilst it will spare you a possible imprisonment term, the sentence I will impose will balance deterrence together with a lengthy supervision term in the hope that it will keep you on the right path.

“Should you however stray from that path and breach the terms of the sentence that I impose today, that will no doubt be viewed very seriously when you are brought back before the Courts,” he said.

The defendants are both convicted of the charges before the Court and sentenced to 12 months supervision (probation). The defendants were also ordered to carry out a 100 hours each of community work as directed by the Probation Service.

In addition, under the terms of their probation, they were ordered to live with their parents and they are both under curfew to be at their place of residence from 8.00p.m. to 6.00a.m. Further they were prohibited from becoming a member of any so-called gang, including the HBK, and were ordered to remain law-abiding citizens.