DELAY: Tovia Junior Max Fualema leaves court after his sentence for charges relating to a home invasion was adjourned.
DELAY: Tovia Junior Max Fualema leaves court after his sentence for charges relating to a home invasion was adjourned. Ross Irby

Judgment day in New Year for deadly home invasion

ONE of four people involved in a deadly home invasion at Booval three years ago is still awaiting news on his punishment.

Dogged by delays due to lack of money to pay his legal costs, it could be a somewhat sleepless Christmas break for Tovia Junior Max Fualema as he faces an almost certain stint in jail.

Three of Tovia's co-offenders have already been sentenced to time in jail for their roles in the violent crime, which resulted in the shooting death of David Nanai, 26.

Fualema, 26, from Kingston, went before the District Court at Ipswich for sentence this week but the case was again delayed.

The defendant blamed the long wait on being short of funds and not being able to pay for his lawyers' legal fees.

His new legal representative, defence barrister Damien Gates, sought the adjournment of sentence until Fualema had the funds.

Fualema was arraigned in the District Court a year ago on a Crown charge that he entered a dwelling with intent to steal by break at night/use, threaten violence while armed and in company at Booval on March 4, 2016.

In the Stafford St invasion of the home occupied by Ben Caffrey and Jasmine Ockhuysen, one of the offenders, Mr Nanai, 26, was shot and killed.

Concerned by the delays in the justice process in the Fualema case, Judge Dennis Lynch QC said the matter before the court simply "can't go on forever".

He said the issue of money to pay for legal representation was raised back in August, and then adjourned, which was a significant amount of time.

Crown prosecutor Noel Needham said the sentence was then adjourned "on the understanding that the matter would proceed in a timely fashion".

He said the case was originally listed for trial but then adjourned some seven or eight times for the same reason.

Judge Lynch inquired as to what sentences the three offenders had received.

Mr Needham said all three, a woman and two men, were required to spend actual time in jail for their offences.

Johanna Maree Harper, 26, from Boronia Heights, was sentenced to 3 ½ years jail and had spent 324 days in custody.

Joshua Leonard John Watson-Scully, 22, from Coominya, was sentenced to four years and three months jail, and at the time of sentence had served 17 months in pre-sentence custody.

Gerard Harper, 27, had driven the car to the house and received six months jail after receiving a head sentence of three years.

Mr Needham said the offence breached a suspended sentence Fualema was subject to at the time, and he would be required to go to jail.

Mr Needham sought for Fualema's bail to be revoked until the sentence date.

Mr Gates sought for it to continue, saying it would be difficult for Fualema to work and get the funds if in custody.

The prosecutor said Fualema was charged in February 2017 and there had been a delay in the trial of the co-accused to allow him to join.

He was then indicted in November 2017 and has had the time to put his legal team in funds but had not.

Judge Lynch also enquired as to whether there had been some incentive to get his guilty plea, but was assured no.

He said if the Crown wanted to make submissions that a jail sentence was inevitable, then that submission should have been made at the time Fualema was arraigned.

Mr Needham said the circumstances had changed and now three or four months down the track nothing had been done to advance it.

"It's a home invasion. The offence contains violence. It's now been adjourned for over 12 months," he said.

Judge Lynch allowed Fualema's bail to continue and adjourned sentence until February 28, 2019.

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