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Ten face violence-related charges

Wednesday February 11, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

Ten people facing charges relating to violence appeared before Justice of the Peace Carmen Temata in the High Court last week.

William Doherty Jnr appeared in court on a charge of assault on a female. 

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said his client would be best suited for the diversion scheme and said he had been having ongoing discussions with police about this. He asked for an adjournment to March 26 to review progress. 

Katarina Margaret Marama was unable to enter a plea to a charge of common assault as defence counsel Mark Short said he had only received disclosure two days earlier. Marama’s case was put back to February 26. 

Seth Love changed his previous plea of not guilty to a charge of assault, to guilty. Defence counsel Brian Mason asked for a probation report to be ordered and an adjournment for sentencing be granted until February 26. 

William Wade and Trevor Tiro both faced charges of assault on a female and were represented by defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen. Wade, who pleaded guilty, was set a sentencing date of February 26 and a probation report was ordered. Rasmussen said he had only just taken on Tiro’s case and sought an adjournment to March 5 to allow for further discussion with his client. 

Anthony Vainerere and David Maaka appeared on charges of fighting in a public place and common assault. Both cases have been put back to March 5 to allow time for counsel to review each case. 

Clinton Charlie and Feriti Siona were charged with fighting in a public place. With Charlie facing one charge of fighting in a public place and Siona facing two charges of fighting in a public place and another charge of common assault, both cases were granted an adjournment to February 26. No pleas were entered.

Matauti Jnr Tipoki, 21, was convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ probation when he appeared on a charge of male assaults female.

Tipoki appeared late for his sentencing hearing before JP Temata, which fortunately for him, did not have an effect on her final decision. 

Tipoki was ordered to serve the first six months of his probation on community service. He must not purchase or consume alcohol or to enter licensed premises and was ordered to attend workshops and counseling as directed by Probation Services. 

On January 9 at 1.55am a complaint was made to police regarding a domestic incident at Tipoki’s residence in Takuvaine.  

During police interviews Tipoki admitted to throwing a knife at his sister and then kicking her twice in the knee following a heated argument. The victim received a cut on her left triceps and had to undergo a medical examination.

Police said while alcohol had been contributing factor in the incident, Tipoki had no previous convictions and was remorseful for what he had done.  

William James Rennie was granted the Diversion Scheme after appearing on a charge of careless driving. Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said his client’s presence in court was an indication that his previous failures to appear in court had not been due to acts of disobedience. A one-month adjournment was sought to allow for the diversion scheme to take its course and Rennie’s case will be reviewed on March 26.

Sharnia Metuarau pleaded not guilty to a charge of careless driving causing injury. A hearing date before Justice Doherty was scheduled for July 23.

John Fatiaki and Tutai Tony Tapuni were both charged with driving with excess breath alcohol, but Faitiaki failed to appear in court. Fatiaki’s lawyer said his client’s absence was due to illness, and sought a hearing adjournment for two weeks to correspond with Fatiaki’s earlier not guilty plea. JP Temata reminds counsel that in previous practices regarding absence due to sickness a medical certificate must be provided. A two-week adjournment was granted, together with an order for police to release disclosure documents to counsel. Police prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo sought leave from the court to withdraw Tapuni’s case till Tapuni returned to Rarotonga as he currently resides in Mitiaro.

Teuatapo Ariu was convicted and fined $50 plus $30 court costs when he appeared on a charge of driving while disqualified. 

Ariu was seen driving his motorcycle on the main road of Matavera on January 14 when an off-duty police officer spotted him. Defence counsel Rasmussen explained that although there had been a period of time when the defendant had trouble remembering if it was him or his brother that had been driving the motorcycle, he was now confident that it was him and he entered a plea of guilty. 

JP Carmen told Ariu that he had been let off lightly this time, but guaranteed the court would not be as accommodating next time.