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Conditional driver’s licence denied

Tuesday November 10, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

Fifteen criminal cases were brought before the High Court and Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi on Thursday, November 5.

 

Ngatokoono James Tara pleaded guilty a charge of exceeding the breath alcohol limit while driving a motor vehicle.

An application was presented to the court for a conditional licence to allow Tara to drive on private property during working hours so he could operate vehicles such as forklifts or tractors as of his work requirements. However, the application was denied.

Tara was convicted and fined $400 plus $30 court costs. He was also disqualified from holding a driver’s licence for 12 months.

Daniel Hopper appeared to face judgement on a joint charge of burglary. Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen confirmed a plea had yet to be entered as he was still awaiting disclosure documents from the police.

Rasmussen sought approval from the court for an adjournment to give him some time to discuss the case with police, as Hopper was willing to enter a guilty plea to a lesser charge as he had been merely a “follower” to the main perpetrator of the crime. The case was adjourned until December 3 to allow time for defence to discuss the case with police.

Karaweta Highland appeared via a summons on a charge of refusing to undergo a breath test. His defence counsel said he had just received disclosure and had yet to discuss arrangements with his client. An adjournment was sought until December 3 to allow sufficient time for review.

Auemamae Rakanui appeared on a charge of assaulting a female. His defence counsel Norman George sought an adjournment until December 3 as he had just received the case and had not had time to review it with his client.

Apii Tangata failed to appear in court on a charge of careless driving. A previous plea of not guilty was entered, but defence counsel Matthew Scowcroft confirmed he had been instructed to vacate that plea and enter a new plea of guilty.

Unfortunately after he had received that instruction, Tangata had gone to New Zealand and had yet to return. He sought an adjournment until November 19 to allow him time to meet with Tangata on her return and plan a way forward with the case.

Manatu Bates failed to appear on a charge of assaulting a female. Defence counsel Rasmussen confirmed that in spite of trying a number of times, he had been unable to contact the defendant. He requested an adjournment until November 19, noting it was not the first time Bates had failed to appear. However police prosecutor Fairoa Tararo ordered a bench warrant for Bate’s arrest so that he could be located and officially informed about his next court hearing. Rasmussen agreed to this arrangement.

Itio Matakino failed to appear on a summons charge of careless driving. Police prosecutor Tararo said the defendant would possibly have difficulties with his bail bond, and requested an adjournment until November 19.

Manatu Taumaa entered a plea of guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified. On January 22 this year Taumaa was disqualified for 12 months from driving a motor vehicle. However on October 31 he was seen driving his motorcycle on the main road in Avana and was stopped by police. Taumaa was convicted and fined $100 plus $30 court costs.

Tai Tekopua appeared on a charge of assaulting a female.

Police prosecutor Tararo said  a letter had been received by the victim asking for the charge to be withdrawn. However, due to the police’s “no-drop policy” it had been recommended that Tekopua undergo a six-week counselling assessment with Punanga Tauturu. After successful completion of that programme Tekopua would return to court for judgement. The case was adjourned until December 17.

Teautaaveroa Tuakanangaro appeared on a charge of assaulting a female.

Supporting counsel Wilkie Rasmussen sought approval from the court to allow the victim to explain her situation.

She told the court there had been no assault, but the incident had involved a loud argument and neighbours had assumed there were violent acts taking place.

Police prosecutor Tararo said there was some confusion over the case, as it currently involved two charges of assault. Police sought an adjournment until November 12 to allow them time to sort out the charges and return with an updated charge sheet. Bail conditions were also imposed for the defendant not to consume alcohol. He was also forbidden from entering any licenced premises and purchasing alcohol.

Tarapi Samuel appeared via a summons for a charge of unlawfully found on premises.

Defence counsel Rasmussen said Samuel had simply gone on to the property for work purposes which involved collecting coconuts to make oil for the company he worked for. There was no evidence of Samuel having consumed alcohol or having any intention of committing a crime. His client had had purely been acting on a request by his employer, Rasmussen said. He asked for the charge to be dismissed without conviction.

Police prosecutor Tararo encouraged the court to allow time for the facts of the case to be presented and to defer it for a few weeks as the facts could differ from those presented in court.

However Rasmussen said it could just be a case of “delaying the inevitable.” JP Manaarangi adjourned the case to November 19.

Andrew Tonorio appeared on a charge of assaulting with intent. His defence counsel Norman George sought an adjournment until January 14 next year to allow him time to receive disclosure from police and to review the case with his client.

George made an application for his client’s release from custody as Tonorio had a family to support and had been in custody for some time. Police had no objections but requested that bail conditions be imposed. Tonorio must surrender his passport to police and to report to the police station between the hours of 5pm and 6pm every Friday. The application for his release was granted.

Sepataio Nicholas appeared on the charge of driving while disqualified. Defence counsel Norman George sought an adjournment until December 10 to allow him time to receive disclosure from police and to review the case with his client.

George also made an application for his client’s release from custody which was granted with bail conditions. Nicholas must not consume or purchase alcohol or enter any licenced premises.

Teaumetua Araipu appeared on a charge of burglary. Defence counsel Rasmussen appeared on behalf of Punanga Tauturu with an application for his client’s bail due to her being detained due on a new charge. Police agreed with Araipu’s  release, but stressed that her bail condition that she must reside with her parents would continue. The case was adjourned until November 12.

Joape Dawaio Matatolu pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting a female. A probation report was ordered and a sentencing date set for November 19.