The mother of Uati ‘Pele’ Faletolu, the 17-year-old boy who died after being stabbed at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, has spoken for the first time since her son’s tragic death.
Janice Faletolu paid tribute to her “beautiful, selfless and loyal” teenage son and said the past week had been a “difficult time” for her family, The Daily Telegraph reports.
“Uati was a happy, outgoing young man with a loving heart. He was a loyal friend, a caring brother, and a selfless son and partner,” read Faletolu’s statement which was written by a family member.
“Even with the tragic circumstances surrounding Uati’s passing, we as a family do not want Uati remembered as a victim but to use this time to honour and celebrate the beautiful person that he was.
“Uati, we miss you so much and your loss is deeply felt. We are so proud of the young man you became and we will cherish every memory we have with you always. We LOVE you Uati.”
As of Monday, April 18 Uati’s body will be returned to his family after it was held by the coroner, the Doonside Junior Rugby League Club shared in a Facebook page.
A funeral will be held for the Doonside resident on April 22 before Uati’s body will be cremated.
“As you could understand, the family have not seen Uati for an entire week and request the space and privacy to grieve their beloved son and brother,” the Facebook post read.
“For those who wish to pay their respects, there will be an opportunity to do so from Tuesday onwards. We thank you all in advance for your understanding.”
The 17-year-old died after suffering knife wounds to the chest during a violent brawl that broke out at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on April 11. He was on a break from working at the Break Dance ride when the attack occurred.
While paramedics tried to resuscitate him, Uati died while en route to Westmead Hospital.
In the days after Uati’s death it was revealed the teenager was expecting a child with his girlfriend Taylor Piliae.
“The rumours are true. My beautiful sister has been blessed with his baby,” wrote Bree Piliae, his partner’s sister, sharing a video of the ultrasound.
“Congratulations big sis with you every step of the way. Can’t wait to meet you mini Pele.”
While NSW Police have yet to find Uati’s killer, they are investigating whether the postcode gang rivalry between the western Sydney suburbs of Doonside (2767) and Mount Druitt (2770) were involved.
According to 7News, investigators have run into issues due to the dark and grainy footage obtained from CCTV cameras.
A 15-year-old boy has also been charged with affray, armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and custody of a knife in a public place, however, police do not believe he was involved in Uati’s death.
A video that showed him being arrested stoked the postcode war theory after he was seen shouting: “Six, seven, motherf*****” as police handcuffed him. The number relates to the last two digits of Doonside’s postcode where Uati and the 15-year-old were believed to be from.
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