Herman appears on assault charge
Herman appears on assault charge
Justice of the peace John Kenning presided over a number of cases in the high court last week:
James Tai Herman – call-over for assault with intent. Police prosecutor Tuaine Manavaroa requested that Kenning withdraw the charge of assault with intent and replace it with common assault. Defence counsel Lavenia Rokoika, acting for her principal Tina Browne, asked that the case be adjourned to August 12, and Kenning ordered that a probation report be drafted.
A man with name suppression applied to amend his bail. He’s facing a charge of indecent assault but is seeking to temporarily recover his passport so he can go to New Zealand for personal reasons. Catherine Evans of crown law expressed concern over the application, noting that often Cook Islanders facing serious charges obtain leave to go overseas and never return. Kenning will hear the case again this morning, but yesterday advised the defendant to find a guarantor who can put up a bond ensuring his return. Alternatively, he told the defendant that he can put up some of his assets as collateral.
James Engu appeared on a call-over for a charge of being of unsound mind. Counsel Lavenia Rokoika said that her client is not in a position to enter a plea. Kenning told Engu that there’s “a light starting to appear at the end of (his) tunnel”, as Te Kainga has completed a psychiatric evaluation on the defendant, and conclude that Engu will benefit from a PSR Recovery Programme. He is being remanded in prison for three weeks so authorities can make sure he takes the necessary medication to stabilise his condition, and will afterward be released to attend Te Kainga’s recovery programme.
The Travis Moore v Taakoka Villas matter appeared again before the court and was again adjourned for another three weeks.
Romani Katoa – call-over for driving with excess breath alcohol. Defence counsel Brett Gibson told Kenning that he’s awaiting disclosures, which police say they gave in March. The case was adjourned to August 5.
A woman with name suppression appeared for theft, but as her counsel Norman George is away, the case was adjourned to August 5.
Another woman with name suppression appeared for driving with excess breath alcohol. Defence counsel Charles Petero requested that the case be adjourned for two weeks.
A man with name suppression appeared for a call-over on a charge of assault on a female, to which he pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing. The case was adjourned to August 5.
Tereapii Tumutoa – call-over for common assault. Kenning read a letter from the victim, Rimaati Iotua, who indicated he’d like to withdraw the charges because Tumutoa is a “close family friend”. Manavaroa said he’d like to speak with the victim before withdrawing the charges. The case was adjourned to August 12.
Rima Iotua – pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, theft of a laptop and breach of probation. The defendant was remanded back into custody until he re-appears in court on August 19.
Teina Tanga – pleaded not guilty to assault on a female. The defendant’s sister told the court that she’s prepared to testify in his defence at trial, the date for which will be set at a hearing next month.
Sema Robati – call-over for excess breath alcohol. The defendant has not appeared for recent call-over hearings, which the court understood was because he was overseas for a job interview. The defendant admitted that he’s been in the country. Counsel Lavenia Rokoika asked that the case be adjourned to next week.
Michael Brown – call-overs for common assault and assault on a female charges dating back to 2008. Victims have previously indicated they wish to withdraw the charges. All cases were adjourned to next week.
Potai Taamaru – appeared for driving while disqualified and was convicted and fined $40 plus $30 court costs. “Disqualified doesn’t mean don’t get caught, it means don’t drive,” Kenning warned.
Teariki Paerau – pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was convicted and fined $150 plus $30 court costs and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Teariki Araipu – pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of probation. The defendant was charged $30 plus $30 court costs for each charge and remanded back into custody until he appears in court on August 12 for a charge of being party to an offence – to which he pleaded not guilty earlier this month.
Tali Ofa – call-overs for charges of breaching probation and contempt of court. As the defendant’s lawyer Norman George is away, both cases were adjourned to August 19.