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Six on charges of assaulting women

Tuesday June 16, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

William Doherty, Teatuaveroa Tuakanangaro, Ngu Paora Marsters, Andrew George, Alan Heather and Ngametua Tiatoa all faced charges of assaulting a female when they appeared before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams in the High Court on June 11


Doherty appeared on a call over where he maintained his not guilty plea. An adjournment was set for August 6 to establish a defended hearing date.

Tuakanangaro appeared on a charge of assaulting a female and confirmed through counsel that he was not ready to enter a plea.

 Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen confirmed that he needed more time to review a few anomalies in the case. An adjournment has been set for June 25.

Marsters sought an adjournment until July 2 to allow for time to review the case and await disclosure documents from police.

George was convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ probation with conditions to not consume or purchase alcohol or enter any liquor-licensed premises.

 He was also directed to attend any counselling or workshops instructed by the probation services and to pay $30 court costs. His newly-appointed defence counsel, Mark Short, explained that although George had been representing himself, he had offered to take on the case pro bono, due to the fact George was a well-respected prison officer.

Short also read a supporting reference to the court, which highlighted George’s outstanding character.

 The reference stressed that his actions had not represented his normal behaviour and how unfortunate it was for George to be in his present situation.

Heather failed to appear when called by the court on charges of assaulting a female and common assault. Defence counsel Norman George sought a one-week adjournment until  June 18 to allow time for him to talk to his client.

Tiatoa, through defence counsel Mark Short, pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting a female.

 However, he was unable to enter a plea for his remaining two charges of contempt of court due to disclosure documents not having been received. Tiatoa will appear for a call over on the remaining two charges on June 25.

Okirua Robert Naea and Paul Napa appeared on charges of common assault.

Naea, who was in custody, also faced a charge of theft. Defence counsel Short took his lead from prosecution, which confirmed that until a secure house of residence had been found for Naea, he would remain in custody.

 Short agreed and an adjournment was set for June 18.

Napa through counsel Mark Short explained that there were still technicalities with the case which required assistance from the police. An adjournment was set for June 18.

Joseph Brown and Ngametua Rani appeared on charges of exceeding the breath-alcohol limit. 

Brown was granted an adjournment until August 6 to allow police time to deliver the case documents to his lawyer.

Rani was convicted and fined $300 plus $30 court costs and disqualified from holding a Cook Islands driver’s licence for 12 months after being caught driving with a total 840mg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Tangirere Williams appeared on a call over where he maintained his not guilty plea on a charge of careless driving.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen sought an adjournment until August 6 to allow the registrar time to confirm a defended hearing date.

Teokotai Taruia appeared on an application made by defence counsel Brian Mason for bail release.

 Police Prosecutor Fairoa Tararo challenged the application, describing the effect it would have on the community if Taruia was released, considering his lengthy criminal history.

Defence counsel Mason said Taruia was taking new medication which seemed to be helping his condition.

 However, he was still awaiting written confirmation from Dr Fariu to confirm a positive change.

 Taruia will remain in custody until a written confirmation has been provided. A call over was scheduled for June 25.

Teutabo Ariu failed to appear in court on two charges of being unlawfully found on premises and entering with intent. A bench warrant was ordered for his arrest.

Vaikaloa Taufahema appeared on two charges of entering with intent and receiving stolen goods. He entered not guilty pleas on both charges and a defended hearing was set for September 29. Prosecution confirmed that they would be bringing a witness from New Zealand.

James Ngatokorua appeared on a charge of theft by finding. Defence counsel Mark Short told the court that he had been busy and had not been unable to meet with his client. An adjournment was sought until June 18 with a guarantee that a plea will be delivered.

Daniel Akama made an application through his defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen to be released from custody on bail. Police prosecutor Fairoa Tararo challenged the application on the grounds that it was not Akama’s first appearance on dishonesty charges, and that police were looking into laying further charges. Akama will remain in custody until his next appearance on July 7.

Michael Browne appeared on four charges of theft, theft by finding, assaulting a female and refusing to undergo a breath test. Defence counsel Mason explained he had just received new instructions and would require a further two weeks to discuss them with police.

Browne will reappear on June 25 and remains on bail.           

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