Bully walks after assaulting schoolboy over $200 shoes


A teenage bully who viciously assaulted two schoolboys, punching one in the face because he wanted the teen's $200 shoes, has walked from court.

Malotau Kenichi, 19, repeatedly punched the 16-year-old from his former Moreton Bay high school after the boy refused to give him his shoes in February last year, the Brisbane District Court was told yesterday.

After pushing him to the ground, Kenichi prised the shoes from the boy who was visibly distressed and told him to "stop being a little b---h" when he phoned his mother.


Malotau Kenichi, 19, leaves Brisbane District Court after being sentenced for assault. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Malotau Kenichi, 19, leaves Brisbane District Court after being sentenced for assault. Photographer: Liam Kidston.


The boy's heartbroken mother told the court she still hears her son's voice "screaming and pleading" and is haunted by the image of his face when he walked through the door that day.

The Murrumba Downs mother described how her son became withdrawn and untrusting of people after the assault and how it had felt like "the final straw".

"Our lives have changed and will never be the same," she said.

Kenichi apologised for his actions and the boy's mother hugged him after the sentence.

The Mango Hill teenager pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to robbery with personal violence and common assault.

Prosecutor Noel Needham told the court that weeks before the attack, Kenichi had assaulted another former school peer at the North Lakes YMCA.

The court heard the pair got in a fight over cigarettes and Kenichi had slapped him on the face then grabbed him by the neck and pushed him.

Kenichi's barrister said spending three days in the Pine Rivers watch-house had been an eye opener for the teenager and argued that probation would keep him "on the straight and narrow".

The court heard Kenichi had come to Australia from Samoa with his family in 2016 on a religious visa and since the assault was "starting to turn things around" by re-engaging with his church community.

Acting Judge Robert East QC said it was a senseless assault, but acknowledged that Kenichi was only 18 at the time and had taken some promising steps towards rehabilitation.

"Every parent, as your parents, would like to see their children grow up in a safe nurturing environment," he said.

"We just simply can't afford to have this kind of bullying and violence to get something like a pair of shoes."

Kenichi was sentenced to 18 months' jail, wholly suspended for two and a half years.

He was ordered to pay $240 to the family to replace the shoes and no conviction was recorded.

Originally published as Bully walks after assaulting schoolboy over $200 shoes