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Counselling leads to dismissal of charge

Thursday October 29, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

Twenty-two cases were brought before Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi in the High Court on Thursday, October 22.

 

Taputu Hoeflich appeared on a charge of assaulting a female.

Police prosecutor, Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo confirmed Hoeflich had successfully completed his counselling workshops with Punanga Tauturu. However due to police having a “no drop” policy, they would take their lead from the court.

Defence counsel Brian Mason agreed with the police and sought leave of the court to dismiss the charges without conviction. JP Manarangi accepted the submission, dismissed the charge without conviction and imposed a fee of $30 to cover court costs.

Two local sisters in their 20s were granted interim name suppression after appearing on a summons involving two charges of assaulting a female constable and obstructing a police officer. Defence counsel Norman George sought approval of the court for an adjournment until November 12 to allow him to further discuss the charges with the defendants and to plan a way forward with the case. 

Lala Ueseli appeared on a charge of exceeding the breath alcohol limit while driving a motor vehicle. Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen confirmed that a decision had been made to change Ueseli’s original not guilty plea to guilty after checking the logistics of the case.  Rasmussen said technicalities were often involved in charges of this nature and Ueseli had originally pleaded guilty on his recommendation, as Rasmussen wanted to explore every angle before his client pleaded guilty to a charge of which he may have been innocent.

JP Manarangi convicted Ueseli and fined him $200 plus $30 court costs. Ueseli was also disqualified from driving and from holding a driver’s licence for 12 months.

Manarangi said although Ueseli had shown initiative by having something to eat and resting before riding his motorcycle, the level of alcohol in his breath had not changed.

Okirua Manuela appeared for sentencing on two charges of common assault and theft. Because sentencing requires three JPs final sentencing was adjourned to December 8.

Ngametua Tiatoa appeared for sentencing on one charge of assaulting a female and three charges of contempt of court. Three previous pleas of guilty had been received by the court, with the final guilty plea entered on Thursday for the last of the contempt of court charges. In light of the new guilty plea, sentencing was postponed to November 12.

Solomone Taufahema appeared on charges of burglary and indecent assault. Defence counsel Mark Short said he had yet to receive disclosure from police. Senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo confirmed a new charge had been laid against Taufahema and due to the seriousness of the charge, police recommended that the defendant should remain in custody until the court ordered otherwise. Counsel Short sought an adjournment until October 29 to allow him time to discuss the new charge with his client.

Seremaia Labalbure appeared on his charge of assaulting a female. Defence counsel Short sought an adjournment until December 10 as he had yet to receive disclosure from police.

Short made an application for release of his client, as Labalbure had confirmed he had somewhere to live in the community.

Prosecutor Tararo said his instructions were to seek for the defendant to be remanded back into custody, due to the serious nature of the charge. As well as this, there was not enough evidence to prove that the defendant had a stable home in which to reside.

Short said contact had been made with Labalbure’s place of residence and his employer and both had confirmed his client had a place to stay and a job waiting for him.

A release was granted on condition that Labalbure does not interfere with the victim and/or police witnesses and will reside at his new address in Tupapa. He was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

Joape Matatolu appeared on a charge of assaulting a female. Defence counsel Rasmussen requested an adjournment until November 5 as he has yet to receive disclosure and needed more time to discuss with his client.

Ngu Paora Marsters appeared on a single charge of assaulting a female. His defence counsel Mark Short sought an adjournment until November 12 as the case was based on the complainant being present on the island. The complainant had recently left the island and the case could not proceed until they returned, Short said.

For the fourth time, Ngariki Ngariki failed to appear on a charge of burglary. Defence counsel Rasmussen sought leave of the court for an adjournment for two weeks as he had yet to meet his client and had only recently seen his file. However, a bench warrant was issued for Ngariki’s arrest.

Adam Tutuvanu appeared on a charge of exceeding the breath alcohol limit while driving a vehicle. His counsel Short said it was important that he be given time to meet with the police to discuss the matter as it is leading towards a procedural issue. Justice of the Peace Manarangi agreed and an adjournment was set for October 29.

Nooroa Turepu appeared for sentencing on his charge of theft. Due to this case requiring a sitting of a three JP setting, an adjournment for sentencing has now been scheduled for December 8.

Daniel Hoepper appeared on a charge of burglary. His defence counsel Rasmussen sought an adjournment until November 5 as he stressed this case was complicated and he needed time to review disclosure.

An under-aged male appeared on a summons charged with contempt of court. Due to the defendant’s age, an application was made by police prosecutor Martin Iro for the case to be transferred in to the Children’s Court. Defence counsel Rasmussen concurred and the defendant will return to court on December 9.

Okianga Tauri appeared on a charge of exceeding the breath alcohol limit. His defence counsel Mark Short sought an adjournment as he had yet to receive disclosure and without it had not been able to discuss the case with his client.

Punua Fariu appeared on a double charge of contempt of court. Police prosecutor Tararo sought leave to withdraw one of the charges. Fariu then pleaded guilty to the remaining contempt charge which involved him driving a motor vehicle while disqualified. Fariu was convicted and fined $100 plus $30 court costs.

Talimealahi Tuileila appeared on three charges of breaching his probation conditions, contempt of court and burglary. Due to the arrival of new information regarding the charge, defence counsel Mark Short sought an adjournment until November 12 to review the case files.

Rourukeu Nganu pleaded guilty to a charge of theft. Defence counsel Rasmussen requested a sentencing date before a three-JP setting. Sentencing will now go ahead on December 8. A probation report has been ordered and Nganu’s bail conditions will continue.

Kyle Tamariki appeared on charges of exceeding the breath alcohol limit while driving a motor vehicle and driving a vehicle while disqualified. As it was not the first time he had appeared on similar charges, Tamariki was convicted and sentenced to three months’ jail, to be followed by 12 months’ probation. He was ordered not to consume, purchase or enter licenced premises and must attend all workshops and counselling as instructed by the Probation Service. Upon release from jail, Tamariki will also be disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Christina Tekii failed to appear sentencing on her charge of theft. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.

Helen Koroa appeared on two charges of using a document and two charges of theft. Police prosecutor Fairoa sought a two-week adjournment to allow Koroa to seek legal advice. Koroa will return to face her charges on November 12. Bail conditions will continue.

Marouna Ioane was fined $150 plus $30 court costs after pleading guilty to exceeding the breath alcohol limit while driving a motor vehicle.

Ioane was also disqualified from driving or applying for a driver’s licence for 12 months.