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Court handles fewer traffic cases for week

Wednesday July 01, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

Traffic cases were few and far between last week, with just five cases brought before and Justice of the Peace John Whitta and assisting Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro in the High Court on Thursday.

 

Adam Andre Tutuvanu, Benjamin George Vakatini, Aisake Fimone and Sarah Okeefe all appeared on similar charges of driving while exceeding the legal breath-alcohol limit.

Private investigations conducted by Tutuvanu’s counsel revealed additional information relating to his client’s case, which resulted in Tutuvanu being granted an adjournment until July 30.

Through defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen, Vakatini entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of driving while exceeding the breath-alcohol limit.

 Vakatini will reappear on October 20 for a call over to secure a defended hearing date.

Fimone pleaded guilty to a charge of exceeding the breath alcohol limit and was convicted and fined $400 plus $30 court costs.

 Fimone was also disqualified from driving a vehicle in the Cook Islands for 12 months. On a further charge of attempted burglary he was convicted and fined $50 plus $30 court costs.

 Fimone will reappear on October 21 for a defended hearing on a charge of contempt of court.

Okeefe appeared on a charge of refusing to undergo a breath test. Due to her counsel being overseas, an adjournment was sought until July 2.

Michael Charlie, Teeio Tepapiri Warren and Josephine Henry were all granted partial driving licenses for the work purposes only.

Teina Simiona Ataera, Mahuroda Akatapuria, Teatuaveroa Tuakanangaro and Ngametua Tiatoa all appeared on individual charges of assaulting a female.

Ataera entered a plea of guilty. A probation report was ordered and a sentencing date set for August 13.

Akatapuria was convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ probation supervision, must attend all training and workshops as directed, and pay $30 court costs.

Through his defense counsel Wilkie Rasmussen, Tuakanangaro pleaded not guilty. Rasmussen there were a few anomalies in the case that required more time for him to investigate.

 Police prosecutor Martin Iro said he had received a withdrawal request, but because of Tuakanangaro’s not guilty plea, it was only fair to adjourn the case to renegotiate a new way forward.

 Tuakanangaro will appear for a call over on July 2.

Tiatoa entered guilty pleas to three separate charges of assaulting a female and two accounts of contempt of court. A sentencing date was set for August 13.

Teina Tekoronga appeared on two charges of assaulting a child and breaching his probation conditions.

 A conviction and sentence was passed down for six months community service and to attend a six week programme with the Rotaianga Men’s group which is to be monitored by his probation officer.

William Wade, Okirua Robert Manuela and a male Ngatangiia resident with name suppression appeared on individual charges of common assault.

Wade appeared for sentencing on two charges of common assault and breaching his probation conditions.

 He was convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ probation supervision which is to be served consecutively with his existing term.

 Original bail conditions will continue, with the additional order that Wade should not purchase or consume alcohol or enter any liquor licensed premises.

Manuela, who is in custody, appeared on two charges of common assault and theft. An application for release was made by his defense counsel Mark Short.

 However last minute instructions were given by the defendant’s father, that Manuela’s family would like to see the counselling programme working before they agreed to have him back home.

A representative from the Rotaianga Men’s group confirmed he had been allocated the task of assisting Manuela through counselling, and that the programme would start this week.

 An adjournment has then been set for July 2 to gauge Manuela’s progress.

The male Ngatangiia resident with name suppression had his case adjourned after defence counsel Mark Short sought an adjournment to August 20.

 He said a request had been made to the police to reinvestigate the case as there was reason to believe the wrong individual had been charged. 

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