Court appearance raises issues

Thursday October 08, 2015 Written by Sharna Matapuku Published in Crime

Ngametua Tiatoa remains in custody after facing two charges of contempt of court and one charge of assaulting a female.


Tiatoa appeared before Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi in the High Court on October 1.

Defence counsel Mark Short said he had intended to make an application for Tiatoa’s release, but was struggling to find somewhere for him to live within the community.

A frustrating factor was situations like Tiatoa’s becoming a cycle, in which no sooner had the defendant been released, it was only a matter of weeks before they were back in the justice system.

“If it’s not the system failing to help defendants like this, it’s the defendants failing to help themselves,” he said.

Short asked for assistance from either Punanga Tauturu, Te Kainga, Probation Services or any other organisation who could come up with a way forward, not just for Tiatoa, but for other people in the same predicament.

Tiatoa will remain in custody until October 15 to allow further discussions to be held with his family,.

Nooroa Turepu failed to appear when called for his charge of theft. A bench warrant was ordered for his arrest.

James Kiriau was granted an adjournment due to medical conditions until October 15. He will then appear on two counts of common assault and one charge of fighting in a public place.

Ngu Marsters appeared on a charge of assaulting a female. Police prosecutor Martin Iro sought an adjournment for three weeks to allow time for witnesses to arrive for trial. Marsters will reappear on 22 October for a defended hearing.

Andrew Raeputa was convicted and fined $100 plus $30 court costs on a charge of driving while disqualified.

Angela Taoro appeared on a call over on a charge of careless driving and careless driving causing bodily harm.

 An adjournment was  requested until November 12 to allow police to obtain further information from the defendant.

Paul Napa appeared on a charge of common assault. Police prosecutor Martin Iro sought leave of the court to withdraw the charge due to insufficient evidence and the fact the victim could not be located or contacted.

Towavea Highland was fined $100 and $30 court costs after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified.

Yvonne Pouao appeared acharge of aiding and abetting. Her defence counsel Mark Short explained how he is unable to make progress on the case as Pouao’s guardians were currently overseas for medical reasons, and he had been unable to contact them before the hearing. He sought an adjournment until October 8.

Sharnia Metuarau was called on a single charge of burglary. Defence counsel Mark Short sought an adjournment until October 8 to allow time to further consult with his client and get more information on the case. 

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