Man jailed for teen sex loses battle against deportation

By Matthew Theunissen, Abigail Hartevelt

A man has been deported after an underage girl he was having sex with killed herself. Photo / Thinkstock
A man has been deported after an underage girl he was having sex with killed herself. Photo / Thinkstock

A man jailed for having sex with an underage girl, who committed suicide after he ended the relationship, has lost his battle against deportation.

The girl's parents say they are "over the moon" at the decision but will never see their daughter again.

Pelesasa Tiumalu who is serving a jail term of four years and three months for having sex with Rotorua teen Hayley-Ann Fenton is to be deported to his native Samoa after his appeal was dismissed.

Hayley-Ann's mother, Lesley Fenton, welcomed news of the deportation tonight.

"He deserves to go back to Samoa ... His wife might have to suffer but at the end of the day he is still alive," she told The Daily Post.

Mrs Fenton said Tiumalu's wife might be upset about him being sent back to Samoa, but at least she and their children could still visit him.

"We can't see our daughter."

Fifteen-year-old Hayley-Ann killed herself shortly after receiving a text message she thought was from her "first love", Tiumalu, telling her, "go kill yourself, I don't care".

It was later revealed that Tiumalu's wife, Elina, had been sending the abusive messages. She was sentenced to a nine-month good behaviour bond on charges of intimidation.

Tiumalu was ordered to be deported but appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal on humanitarian grounds, arguing it would break up his family and stop him from providing for them.

Tiumalu has a New Zealand wife and two young children who, the tribunal accepted, would suffer "grief and unhappiness" if he was deported.

However, tribunal member Melissa Poole was satisfied that the offending outweighed the humanitarian circumstances and dismissed the appeal.

"The loss of life and potential of a young girl, who had yet to finish high school, to experience life as an adult or to have a lasting and loving relationship and children of her own, was an unnecessary tragedy," she said.

"The tribunal is satisfied that the appellant's offending was serious, in that it exploited the innocence and naivety of a 15-year-old girl, who was ill-equipped to deal with the appellant's self-serving attentions. The consequences of his offending have been extreme for his victims."

Hayley-Ann Fenton met Tiumalu while working with him at McDonald's in January 2009.

They began a sexual relationship, and Hayley-Ann and Tiumalu told her parents that he was only 20 instead of 27. Six months later, Tiumalu's separated wife returned with their almost 2-year-old son, and Tiumalu told Hayley-Ann he would leave her.

Elina Tiumalu then sent messages to the teenager, repeatedly swearing at her and threatening to "smash your face" if Hayley-Ann texted her husband again.

The teenager later overdosed on her father's heart medication.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said what Tiumalu had done was disgusting.

"Residence in New Zealand is not a right that is afforded automatically to foreigners and the decision to deport him is appropriate."

Mr McClay said Tiumalu did not seem to be thinking about his wife when he committed the crimes against Hayley-Ann.

"The humanitarian grounds that have been contravened are that of Hayley-Ann. He should be appalled and ashamed for the rest of his life."


WHERE TO GET HELP
If it's an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111. Or call Youthline 0800 376 633, Lifeline 0800 543 354, Depression Helpline 0800 111 757, What's Up 0800 942 8787 (noon-midnight).

If you or someone you know wants advice on dealing with cyber bullies contact the NetSafe help line 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723).

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 01 Sep 2014 20:46:13 Processing Time: 324ms