Grieving parents want man deported

Lesley Fenton, mother of Hayley-Anne. Photo / Alan Gibson
Lesley Fenton, mother of Hayley-Anne. Photo / Alan Gibson

The parents of a Rotorua teenager who took her own life are fighting to ensure the man convicted of an unlawful relationship with her is deported back to Samoa.

Hayley-Anne Fenton, 15, killed herself shortly after receiving a text message she thought was from her "first love", 27-year-old Pelesasa Tiumalu, telling her, "Go Kill yourself, I don't care."

His wife, Elina, had intercepted the teenager's messages, threatening and abusing her through replies.

Hours after the dying teenager was taken to hospital, her father had to make the decision to turn off her life support machine.

Tiumalu was subsequently convicted of sexual charges involving the underage girl and jailed for four years three months, making him subject to a deportation order. He has appealed against deportation on humanitarian grounds - he has a wife and two children living in New Zealand.

Elina Tiumalu was sentenced to a nine-month good behaviour bond on charges of intimidation.

Tiumalu recently went before the Parole Board seeking release from prison, which was denied.

In the board's decision, released to the Daily Post, Rotorua, convener Judge Jane Lovell-Smith said Tiumalu decided to "stand by" when his wife intimidated Hayley-Anne.

"Such conduct by Mr Tiumalu and his wife heightens the board's concern as to whether he would present an undue risk to the safety of the community," the decision states.

A psychologist's report to the board read: "Mr Tiumalu's risk of further sexual offending was considered to be low. Should he offend it is likely to be in the context of marital difficulties ... His offending is likely to be against a post-pubescent female who is somewhat naive and vulnerable ..."

Hayley-Anne's parents Lesley and Kevin Fenton now fear Tiumalu will be allowed to stay in the country.

Tiumalu arrived from Samoa in 2005 and has New Zealand residency.

The couple plan to write to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal and attend the March appeal hearing. Tiumalu is due to come up for parole again in June. "Our community doesn't want him here. Who will be his next victim?" Mrs Fenton asked. "He is a danger to society. He will do this again."

Mrs Fenton wanted to know why Tiumalu's wife, Elina, wasn't punished for pushing her daughter over the edge with threatening text messages. "We have only had half closure," she said.

"Who was the one who pushed the last button? - both of them. They were texting her together. They both should be in jail."

Hayley-Anne's father told the Daily Post he slipped into deep depression after his daughter's death - throwing himself into his work and drinking until he snapped out of it on the day she would have turned 18.

"She was our last child. Our baby. We think about her and cry every day. It has changed our family so much."

Meanwhile, Rotorua MP Todd McClay said Tiumalu had a right to appeal the deportation order. However, he said he was confident Immigration staff would get it right in a case involving abuse against young people or where someone was convicted of serious crimes.

- APN

- NZ Herald

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