Minors consuming alcohol again an issue
Separate hearing for Eagle cases
JP disappointed by contempt case
Minors consuming alcohol again an issue
Justice of the peace John Kenning presided over a lengthy session of the Cook Islands High Court at Avarua last Thursday. The cases that were called before him are as follows, in chronological order:
Stephen Spain appeared on three charges one of driving with excess blood alcohol and two of dangerous driving causing injury. Defence counsel Charles Little told the court he has been instructed to enter guilty pleas on all charges.
Kenning noted that two charges are beyond the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace, and accordingly Little asked that the case be set down before a judge.
The matter was adjourned to March 23 for sentencing before Chief Justice Tom Weston.
Benjamin Tuteru has been charged with assault on a female.
Lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen acted on his behalf, and informed the court that the alleged victim of the assault has said she was never assaulted.
There appears to be confusion or a mix up of who was the actual victim in the altercation so I cannot enter a plea on behalf of my client at the moment, Rasmussen said.
The victim, reportedly the defendants aunt, was in court. Rasmussen acknowledged her, and told the court no injury had been caused to her at any time. He indicated the police had submitted the wrong information to the court and requested an adjournment.
Police prosecutor senior sergeant Ruth Hosking-Tane agreed to the adjournment and said it will give police time to determine whether this was the right victim.
The matter was adjourned to February 2.
Christopher and Akesi Mussell were called up on charges of failing to report financial transactions.
Mussell, who was out of the country, was excused for his non-appearance. All matters pertaining to him and his wife were adjourned to February 16.
Tauri Shepherd was called up on charges of assault on a female, relating to two separate incidents on January 4 and January 8.
On his clients behalf, Rasmussen entered pleas of guilty to both charges.
A probation report was ordered and the case was adjourned to February 9 for sentencing.
Ngatupuna Rata appeared on charges of assault on a female.
Rasmussen sought an adjournment on the grounds that he needed to discuss with the prosecution a letter he received from the alleged victim.
This morning the defendant just handed me a letter from his girlfriend or partner to the justice of the peace to say she would like to drop the charges against the defendant. However, this hasnt been given to the prosecution and I would like a bit of time to discuss this (with the prosecution), he told the court.
The case was adjourned to February 2.
A student with name suppression appeared on charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop on demand and possession of cannabis.
Little sought an adjournment in order to have time to review his clients file. He requested name suppression in order that she can advise her friends and family of these charges.
The matter was adjourned to February 9, and interim suppression was granted on the grounds that the defendant is a student and students have been accorded that privilege previously, however the interim suppression order expires when the court convenes on the ninth of February, Kenning said.
Michael Brown was called before the court on two charges assault on a female and contempt of court.
Defence counsel Charles Petero entered pleas of guilty to both charges on his clients behalf. Brown will be sentenced on these and previous charges on February 9.
Tereapii Vavia appeared on four charges assault on a female, unlawful damage, breach of a molestation order and damage by fire (of properties valued at US$4330).
Little said he had been unaware of the fourth charge, and requested an adjournment without plea in order to have some time to consult with his client.
All matters were adjourned to February 2.
Audrey Clark appeared on charges of careless driving and causing injury.
Counsel Sarah Inder noted that the matter is beyond the jurisdiction of one justice of the peace and accordingly sought an adjournment to a date to be determined by the registrar.
Police will maintain possession of the defendants passport until she next appears in court.
Christopher Tangatakino appeared on a charge of fighting in a public place.
He entered a guilty plea and was fined $70 and ordered to pay court costs of $30.
Teauariki Maka appeared on 12 charges one of unlawful taking, one of theft, one of failing to stop on demand, three of burglary and six of contempt of court.
Counsel Petero requested an adjournment of one month for housekeeping purposes. The case will again come before the court on February 23.
A woman with name suppression appeared on a charge of willful damage.
Counsel Petero asked that the court withdraw the matter, a motion which Hosking-Tane supported.
Tereinga Rima appeared on a charge of assault on a female, to which he entered a plea of guilty. A probation report was ordered and the case was adjourned to February 9.
John Andrew was called up on one charge of being unlawfully found, to which he pleaded guilty. He was fined $40 and ordered to pay court costs of $30.
Teokotai Parutu appeared on one charge of assault, to which he previously pleaded guilty.
Some guy was bad-mouthing you and you decided youd silence him for awhile, correct? Youre not allowed to do that, Kenning told him.
The defendant was convicted, fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs of $30.
Dont go there again otherwise probation is inevitable and I guess imprisonment is a possibility, Kenning told the defendant.
Kevin Caffrey pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with excess breath alcohol. Hosking-Tane recommended that the defendant be fined and disqualified from driving.
You have to be disqualified from driving its not an option. Accordingly I dont think probation is an appropriate step for you, Kenning said.
The defendant was convicted and ordered to pay the maximum fine of $500 and $30 in court costs. He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for18 months.
Puna Henry appeared on a charge of driving with a breath alcohol level three times the legal limit, to which he pleaded guilty.
Theres a reason why people under the age of 18 are not allowed to drink and its because theyre not considered mature enough, but youve accepted that youre mature enough so youre mature enough to (face) the consequences, Kenning told the defendant.
He was convicted and ordered to pay the maximum fine of $500 and court costs of $30, and disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for 12 months.
On another charge of dangerous driving, the defendant was convicted and fined $250 and ordered to pay $30 more in court costs.
You should be the one hunting down the people that supplied you the alcohol and seeing whether they would be willing to contribute to the $810, Kenning told the minor.
Nooapii Ioaba pleaded guilty to a charge of assault on a child. The case was adjourned to February 9 for sentencing.
Nooroa Tetava appeared on a charge of assault on a female. He pleaded guilty and the matter was adjourned to February 9 for sentencing.
Jimmy Poila appeared on a charge of driving with excess breath alcohol, to which he pleaded guilty.
Kenning pointed out to the police that the defendant, who is under the age of 18, would have procured alcohol illegally.
Were only doing half the job its all very well to catch the end user but how about catching the supplier? he said.
The defendant was convicted and ordered to pay the maximum fine of $500 and court costs of $30, and disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay reparations of $170 for medical and testing expenses.
Tutai Amiri appeared on a charge of assault on a female, to which he pleaded guilty. The case was adjourned to February 9 for sentencing.
Teariki Hermann is facing a charge of driving with excess blood alcohol. His case was adjourned to February 9.
Anau Kino was called up on a charge of driving at a speed which is or might be dangerous to the public, to which he pleaded guilty.
He told police he was in a rush going to look for his friends when the charges were laid. Im not going to interfere with your licence but I am going to interfere with your wallet, Kenning said.
The defendant was convicted and fined $200 and ordered to pay court costs of $30.
Teokotai Junior Ua appeared on a charge of driving with excess breath alcohol. Hosking-Tane noted that some Arorangi residents were seeking reparation for damages to their hedge caused by the defendant, and sought an adjournment to allow them time to submit a quote. The case was adjourned to February 9.
Akaiti Purea was called up on a charge of driving with excess blood alcohol, to which she pleaded guilty. She was convicted and fined $300, ordered to pay court costs of $30, ordered to surrender her drivers licence and disqualified from holding or obtaining another one for 12 months.
Separate hearing for Eagle cases
Some Operation Eagle defendants appeared in the High Court on Thursday, and justice of the peace John Kenning proposed another call-over hearing be scheduled to deal exclusively with their cases.
Kenning noted that as a justice of the peace he is not authorised to approve any variations to the defendants bail conditions, so suggested that a separate half-hour hearing be conducted on April 27 to deal with all Eagle call-overs.
Crown prosecutor Tuaine Manavaroa told the court that all defendants are likely to appear before a judge in July.
Lawyer Norman George, who represents multiple Eagle defendants, said he was planning for March.
Justice delayed is justice denied, he told the court.
The defendants were called before the court on Thursday, as some are facing new charges and others amended charges.
Two additional charges of offering to supply a class-C controlled drug, namely cannabis, have been laid against defendant Dina Matapo. She will re-appear with the rest of the Eagle defendants on April 27.
Samuel Tangaroa appeared on three charges of offering to supply a class-C controlled drug, namely cannabis. Through George the defendant pleaded not guilty to all charges and sought a trial by judge and jury. The case will come up for call-over on April 27.
Four additional charges of offering to supply a class-C controlled drug, namely cannabis, were laid against defendant Mark Franklin. The defendant requested disclosure from police, and did not enter pleas to the charges.
I have had no material supplied to me whatsoever since I was arrested in April I have received no disclosure whatsoever, the defendant said.
The Crown maintained that the bulk of the disclosure would be made yesterday.
Franklins case was adjourned to February 24.
Giovanni Marsters faces 15 charges. He has pleaded not guilty through counsel George to all charges. The defendant will come before the court again on April 27.
Scott Arlander faces 22 charges, and will appear for call-over on those charges on April 27. Ricky Carlson faces 33 charges 12 of which were laid recently to which he pleads not guilty. His particular case was adjourned to February 24 to give him time to discuss the additional charges with George.
No additional charges have been laid against defendant Inano Matapo, but the Crown did seek leave to amend the original charges. The amended charges now read conspiring with Samuel Tangaroa and Giovanni Marsters to sell a class-C controlled drug, namely cannabis, conspiring with Samuel Tangaroa and Giovanni Marsters to import into the Cook Islands a class-C controlled drug, namely cannabis, together with Giovanni Marsters willfully attempting to pervert the course of justice by warning a person of an impending police search, and, together with Samuel Tangaroa selling a class-C controlled drug, namely cannabis.
All matters were adjourned to April 27.
Mere King appeared on two charges. Her case was adjourned to February 24.
JP disappointed by contempt case
Kakino Kakino yesterday appeared in the high court on a charge of contempt of court.
He has another outstanding contempt charge and two charges of burglary, on which he has not been sentenced.
Defence counsel Norman George yesterday sought a remand without plea of two weeks.
There is a possibility between the police and myself that we will come to an arrangement to try and advance the case of this man, he told the court.
Kakino was granted bail in November on the condition that he reside with his aunt in Arorangi, abide by an 8pm to 6am curfew and present himself to police during regular checks. His conditions also stipulated that he was not to interfere with any police witnesses, not to purchase or consume alcohol and not to enter any liquor-licensed premises.
Earlier this month police arrested him for breaching his conditions, and later discovered that his court-ordered guardians were out of the country.
Before granting Georges request for an adjournment yesterday, Kenning said: I cannot let this opportunity go by without a commentI was horrified when I was overseas and reading Cook Islands News online to find that Kakino was on the loose and that the police were looking for him for a breach of bail.
I was equally horrified to learn that the people to whom Kakino had been entrusted had flown out of the Cook Islands almost on the day that Kakino breached his bail. Im disappointed that we were not aware when bail conditions were set that the people to whom Kakino was being entrusted had intentions or knew they were going to fly to New Zealand.
I want to say that in future when bail conditions are contested and argued, as they were with regard to Kakino, that everybody has to be diligent with regard to finding out who people are being entrusted to, the conditions, whether those conditions are able to be met or not. If I had known that (his aunt and uncle) were due to fly out before Christmas, Kakino would not have got bail. Its as simple as that.
George replied that regular visits to their home from police forced them to flee.
They werent planning to leave to go back to New Zealand but the police harassed their household by going there at 2am in the morning , 4am in the morning and harassing them. They felt as if they were the ones on bailand they were so stressed out that when he left the house for the last time they just couldnt bear to continue their (watch).
George alleged that these good people were forced to leave because they were oppressed by the police.
Look what the police have done. This is the kind of police behaviour that should be stopped, he told the court.
George suggested that in the future bail conditions should contain provisions to regulate the behaviour of the police, in addition to regulating that of the defendant.
This idea of policing curfew has to be modified, has to be controlledthey are waking people up whenever they want because they feel they have the right to do so.
Kenning reminded George that Kakino was under strict court orders, and that his guardians were not authorised to jump on an airplane and fly away.
All I know is they are good, decent people, and the police forced them to flee, George replied.
Kakino was yesterday remanded back into custody and the case was adjourned to February 9.