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Thief sentenced to 6 months in prison

Thursday August 01, 2013 Written by Published in Crime

A tough sentence was handed down on Wednesday to a young man who stole from tourists. Temotu Arioka, 22, from Takuvaine appeared before three Justices of the Peace and was sentenced to six months’ prison and 12 months’ probation for theft and theft by finding.

Police prosecutor Avele Naku told the JPs that this kind of offence is damaging to the reputation of Rarotonga as being a safe and crime free destination. He had recommended a sentence of 12 months’ supervision including community service.

In April Arioka stole a $1400 headset from a rental car at Social Centre in Arorangi while the tourist renting the car was swimming. After the theft was reported and a search warrant issued, police then found two sets of keys belonging to Polynesian Rentals and Beachcomber in Arioka’s room. He immediately admitted to finding them in a back pack.

Defence counsel Charles Petero asked the court to for leniency saying that all three items were returned, that there is an element of peer pressure and desperation in Arioka’s situation, as he was living with a friend where there was a lack of food and relative comfort. He also said Arioka’s parents had made arrangements for him to travel to Australia for work.

JP Kenning described the crimes as opportunist and emphasised Arioka’s breach of probation charges. “You clearly have little respect for bail. A term of imprisonment is needed, you need to realise that you will have to face the music,” he said.

Arioka is currently serving a sentence of 18 months’ probation and 12 months’ community service for a previous burglary and will continue the new sentence straight after that.

The High Court was presided over by JPs John Kenning, Jenna William and Mata Nooroa.

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