Crown Law counsel Cheryl King and defence counsel Norman George agreed to a trial by a three-JP hearing on February 23. George said the trial was likely to take one to two days.
Thomas Luke Neale appeared in court for charges of threatening to kill and wounding with intent. A plea of not guilty had previously been entered and a request for a trial by judge alone was requested. Counsel Brian Mason told the court the trial was complex as witnesses would need to be brought over from Palmerston Island. A trial date before Justice Doherty was set for July 23.
Christopher Tangatakino and McKenzie Taingarua were both convicted and fined $50 and $30 court costs after pleading guilty to charges of breaching community service.
The fact that it was the pair’s first offence of this kind was taken into consideration by Justice of the Peace Carmen Temata when sentencing.
However, she stressed that if it happened again, the court would not be so lenient.
Temotu Arioka appeared on a charge of breaching community service. However, Probation Services Officer Tuaine Jnr Manavaroa asked for the charge to be withdrawn as Arioka had provided a medical certificate to confirm the reason for his absence.
Vina and David Reuther did not appear in court on charges of failing to account.
Their defence counsel, Tony Manarangi was also absent, However Mason said he was happy to proceed with the case alone. He confirmed the case involved a private prosecution and both David and Vina Reuther were undergoing a special diversion.
The possible outcome would be that the charges are withdrawn by his client. Mason requested an adjournment of two months to give time for the diversion process to be effective. An
adjournment was granted to May 7.