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Thirteen on drink driving charges

Friday January 26, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Thirteen new excess breath alcohol charges and six excess breath case adjournments were heard at the High Court in Avarua on Thursday.


Seven people on charges of failure to pay a fine did not turn up at court, and their cases were withdrawn. Police prosecutor Tuaine Manavaroa said it was likely the fines had all been paid and if they weren’t, they would be called up again.

Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams said it was good to hear that defendant Trevor Tiro was now working. His charges of burglary, being unlawfully found and theft were adjourned until February 15, giving his defence lawyer, Wilkie Rasmussen, time to discuss disclosure statements. Tiro’s bail conditions were to continue.

Fortes Williams’ charge of assault with intent to injure was dismissed and his passport was released so he can return to Australia.

Defence lawyer Norman George said a domestic altercation had broken out between Williams and his brother and they had exchanged punches.

“Both brothers were sober and they had just got home from church,” said George.

The wife of the older brother had stepped in to break them up when she was hit on the mouth. George says it was an unintended accident, however hostile feelings ran high for about 24 hours, over which time the charge was laid.

The defendant had gone to the complainant and expressed deep remorse, the family were reconciled and the complaint was withdrawn.

“I am most grateful, your honour. Justice has been served,” said George.

“This case is similar to Norman’s case involving family,” said defence lawyer Mark Short of the assault on a female charge Putere Dean was facing. He asked the court to consider counselling and said the family was looking to reconcile. The case was adjourned until February 8.

Eric Sijp pleaded guilty to assault on a female and his case was adjourned until February 15 for sentencing. A probation report was also ordered.

Mathew Mokoroa pleaded guilty to assault on a female. A probation report was ordered and the case will be reheard on January 15.

No plea was entered on Daniel Mare’s charge of assault on a female as his lawyer had not received disclosure and needed more time to discuss the details with his client. The court was told another charge of failure to pay a fine would be tripled if Mare did not pay it by the following week. The fine was for driving a vehicle with no mirrors. Rasmussen offered to ensure Mare paid his fine in time and the case was adjourned until February 8.

Vilma Wachter pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis. The matter will go before a judge and a probation report was ordered to be furnished by March 8. An adjournment date is yet to be decided.

Josiah Maxwell pleaded guilty to a charge of theft. The court was told Maxwell had been drinking with his uncle when they had a dispute, and Maxwell took a gas bottle. He later returned it and apologised, but the apology was not accepted. Williams asked if he had returned the gas bottle full or empty.

“I gave it back the same as when I got it,” said Maxwell. The case was adjourned for sentencing on March 27 before three JPs.

Joseph Wichman’s entered no plea on a charge of intent to defraud. Rasmussen said the charge had been made last year and there could be more charges still to come.

“This case is fairly complicated,” said Rasmussen, who asked for a longer adjournment than usual.

Wichman’s case was adjourned until June 14, with continued bail conditions.

Because defendant Taana Metua John had been ill in hospital, Short requested more time to go through disclosure details with him, before he could enter a plea to charges of burglary and contempt of court. The case was adjourned till February 8 when John was expected to enter a plea.

Police prosecutor Tuaine Manavaroa said police had no problem with bail for burglary-accused Tarapi Samuel, as long as conditions were upheld. He was not to go onto the complainant’s property and was to stay with his mother. 

Rasmussen said he had the support of his family. JP Williams said that if there were any more charges made against him, Samuel would be remanded back into custody.

His case was adjourned until March 1.