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Drink driving and assaults dominate court

Monday March 05, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Nearly half of all cases heard by Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi in the Cook Islands High Court on Thursday involved either excess breath alcohol or assault on a female JP Manarangi heard 33 cases on Thursday, including two cases involving charges of wounding with intent.

A 27-year-old man appeared on three charges of wounding with intent. He is the alleged perpetrator of the stabbing that occurred in Taputapuatea on February 10. The man was originally charged with one count of wounding with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. However, he now faces three charges of wounding with intent. No pleas were entered. The man is to be remanded in custody until his next hearing before Justice Judith Potter, who arrives on the island on February 9.

Ngatokotoru Kaitara Nicholas appeared on two charges of wounding with intent in relation to an incident outside the Rehab Nightclub in Avarua on February 16. It is alleged Nicholas was attacked by four assailants and used an empty bottle trying to defend himself. His counsel applied for bail, but it was denied due to the serious nature of the offending. He has been remanded until Justice Potter’s visit presides in the court on February 9.

Joanne Bevine appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. Police withdrew the charge due to insufficient evidence.

Okotai Rongo appeared on one charge of being unlawfully found on private property and one of possession of a utensil. He was fined $40, the maximum for being unlawfully found. He was also charged $50 for court costs. He is set to appear before Justice Potter on the charge of possession of a utensil.

Tarapi Samuel appeared on one charge of burglary. A plea of guilty was entered through counsel  Wilkie Rasmussen. The case was adjourned until March 27 and sentencing is to take place before a panel of three Justices of the Peace.

Teherenui Turoa Koteka appeared on one charge of common assault after an incident at Rehab Nightclub. The budding law student was discharged without conviction.

Exham George appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol and entered a plea of guilty through Counsel Short. The case has been adjourned for sentencing on April 5.

Pupuke Robati Junior appeared on one charge of assault on a female. No plea has been entered. The case has been adjourned until April 5 to allow Counsel Rasmussen to gather more information regarding the case.

Osolai Akai appeared on one charge of assault on a female. Akai is currently undergoing counselling and his case has been adjourned until March 29.

Daniel Mare appeared on one charge of assault on a female, one of common assault, and one of failure to pay a fine. Mare entered a plea of guilty to all three charges via Counsel Rasmussen. Mare was already on probation and was sentenced by JP Manarangi to complete the remainder of his probation period carrying out community service. He was also charged $50.00 for court costs.

Petrena Tiatoa appeared on four counts of burglary and one of contempt of court. Counsel George applied for his client’s bail, which was denied. George submitted to the Court that one of the charges of burglary should be dropped by Police. It is alleged that the informant in that case was actually the perpetrator of the burglary. Tiatoa has been remanded in custody until March 29, when her case will next be heard.

Metuavaine Rakei appeared on one charge of assault on a female and one charge of threatening to kill. The case was adjourned and is to be heard before Justice Potter later this month.

Teariki Manarangi appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. The case was adjourned due to a conflict of interest. The defendant is JP Manarangi’s son.

Ngatae Mokotupu appeared on one charge of careless driving causing bodily injury. The case was adjourned until Justice Potter visits later this month.

Tepatua Crummer appeared on three counts of breach of probation conditions. A plea of guilty was entered via Counsel Rasmussen. The case was adjourned to confirm whether or not Crummer has an appropriate address to be bailed to. He has been remanded in custody until the next hearing of his case in a weeks’ time.

Mereana Taikoko appeared on one charge of careless driving. The case has been adjourned until March 29 to allow for evaluation of the quote for damages.

Martin Enoka Marsters appeared on one charge of burglary. The case has been adjourned until March 8.

Erena Tamaine Betham appeared on one charge of careless driving and one of failing to wear a helmet. The Police withdrew the charges due to them being “low level offences” and the fact that there were no victims involved.

Steven Emile Junior appeared on one charge of common assault and four counts of burglary. A plea of guilty was entered to all charges via Counsel Short. Sentencing is to take place on March 27 before a bench of 3 Justices of the Peace.

Ronnell Matapo appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. A plea of guilty was entered via Counsel Short and Matapo was fined $500.00.

Putere Dean appeared on one charge of assault on a female. The case has been adjourned until March 8.

Joan Frances Tuara appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. A plea of guilty was entered via Counsel Short. Tuara was fined $250.00 including court costs and also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Laitia Rogorogoivaluiva appeared on one charge of being unlawfully found on private property.  The case has been adjourned until March 29.

John Javan Charlie appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. The case has been adjourned until April 5 as Counsel Short had just received disclosure.

Taoro Ratumu appeared on one count of assault with intent. The case has been adjourned until April 5.

Apakukui Tolevu appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. Tolevu plead guilty and was fined $400.00 including court costs. Tolevu was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Sean Avika Bullen appeared on one charge of excess breath alcohol. A plea of guilty was entered via Counsel Short. Bullen was charged $250.00 including court costs and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Laisani Fimone appeared on one charge of careless driving. The case was adjourned until April 5 as the defendant had only been served with their summons at 4:30pm the previous day.

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