Print this page

‘Miscommunication’ delays cannabis case

Friday November 06, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

Fifteen cases were brought before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams in the High Court on Thursday October 29.


Graham Murmchie failed to appear on a charge of cultivating a cannabis plant. However due to a miscommunication between counsel and client, an adjournment was sought until December 3, to allow him time for counsel to get instructions.

David George Taraare appeared on a call over on a charge of assaulting a female. Defence counsel Norman George sought an adjournment until December 3 to allow Taraare to undergo counselling sessions with Punanga Tauturu.

Adam Andre Tutuvanu (37) was charged with exceeding the breath alcohol limit. His defence counsel, Mark Short, expressed concern that the case had been delayed for some time due to a technicality in the recorded personal details of the defendant.

However, that had since been rectified and Tutuvanu wished to plead guilty to the charge. Following a summary of the facts of the case Tutuvanu was convicted and fined $450, reparations of $150 and $30 court costs. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Andrew George appeared on a charge of assaulting a female. As defence counsel Mark Short had only just received disclosure documents, an adjournment was requested until December 3 to allow him time to review the case and seek instructions from his client.

Opura Puia failed to appear on four charges of driving while disqualified, driving while under the influence of alcohol, assaulting a police constable and failing to stop on demand.  However, due to what was described as a miscommunication between counsel and client, an adjournment was sought until December 3.

Morey Vati appeared on his charge of driving with excess breath alcohol. As his counsel had only received disclosure, an adjournment was sought until December 3 to allow him time to review the file and discuss a way forward with his client.

Ngatokotoru Kaitara Nicholas was called on two charges of dangerous driving and exceeding the breath alcohol limit while driving a motor vehicle. Counsel Mark Short sought an adjournment to December 3 to allow him time to review the file.

Police prosecutor Martin Iro told the court that an additional charge against Nicholas for breaching his probation conditions is also in the process of being filed and would be addressed on his return to court.

Ngariki Ngariki appeared on a charge of burglary but due to the non-appearance of his legal counsel the case was adjourned to November 12.

George Keu Fred Maoate failed to appear when called on a charge of burglary. A bench warrant was ordered for his arrest.

Kevin Alan Isimeli appeared on a charge of assaulting a female.

Police prosecutor Iro requested approval to allow the victim to address the court in support of her husband. She said they had been happily married for 10 years and an unfortunate dispute that got out of hand. However the two had reconciled and she had forgiven her husband.

Promises between the two had been made to work on avoiding situations like this from occurring in the future, she said.

Police prosecutor Iro recommended that Isimeli should undergo counselling with Punanga Tauturu for six weeks after which he would return to court.

Teokotai Taruia, who is in custody, appeared on a call over involving two charges of being unlawfully found on premises, six charges of burglary and two charges of contempt of court. Defence counsel Brian Mason said the case had been ongoing due to uncertainty over Taruia’s mental stability and to whether or not he was fit to enter a plea to all 10 charges. Mason confirmed that a psychiatric report by a local doctor had been provided indicating that Taruia may be in a position to live within the community. However, that experiment had failed and due to an unauthorised absence from his place of residence he was now back in custody.

Mason said only option left to explore was for treatment overseas, where trained specialists could assess and confirm his state of mind and open the way to a more productive and positive way forward.

Police prosecutor Tararo agreed with Mason but sought an adjournment until January 28, 2016 to allow time to look at the situation and plan the best way to proceed with the case.

Solomone Taufahema who is also in custody, appeared on two charges of burglary and indecent assault.

An application was made by defence counsel Short for Taufahema’s  release as confirmation has been given regarding his accommodation. Short said he was determined to assist his client to find appropriate forms of employment.

He requested a medical assessment for Taufahema to assist with helping to understand the cause of the charges and hopefully through this the best treatment course could be decided. However the application for release was declined and the case was adjourned to November 3 was set to give counsel and police time to discuss it.

Exam George and Tepa-atua Crummer appeared on a joint charge of theft. Due to their counsel not being able to contact them, an adjournment was sought until November 12 to allow him to review the case file and to secure instructions from his clients.

George was released on bail. He was ordered to reside with his grandmother and be at her residence between the hours of 7pm and 7am.Crummer was remanded back in custody until the scheduled adjournment date.

Teinakore Taere appeared on a charge of common assault. Taere’s counsel asked for the matter to be withdrawn. However due to the police sticking to a “no-drop policy,” an adjournment was requested until November 12.