Monday February 01, 2016 Written by Published in Crime

It was a busy day in the High Court last Thursday as Justices of the Peace John Kenning, Georgina Williams and John Whitta passed down sentencing verdicts on five criminal cases and one defended hearing.


Okirua Manuela appeared for sentencing on charges of common assault, theft, assaulting a female, burglary and contempt of court.

JP Kenning said that before Manuela could be sentenced correctly there was a need for a psychiatric examination to be furnished.

Manuela’s defence counsel, Mark Short agreed. Kenning said a custodial sentence was highly likely, and allowances would be considered for time served on remand. Manuela will re-appear for sentencing on February 15.

Nooroa Turepu was called for sentencing on a charge of theft. Concerns were raised regarding Turepu’s place of residence and his medical condition. JP Kenning said it would be in Turepu’s best interest for a psychiatric report to be completed so a well-informed sentencing decision could be made. The case was adjourned to February 15.

Teaumetua Araipu appeared for sentencing on three charges of burglary. Her defence counsel, Short, said in his submissions that he had experienced difficulty gaining support from Araipu’s family for her, but he was still determined to seek assistance from the court with a way forward.

The question of Araipu’s state of mind was still a concern, he said. JP John Kenning suggested that an adjournment be allowed to give the court time to seek a psychiatric report to determine her current condition and to recommend options for the future. Araipu will return for sentencing on February 15.

Christina Tekii was convicted, sentenced and fined $30 court costs plus reparations of $180, when she pleaded guilty to a charge of theft.

She was also sentenced to 18 months’ probation. As it was Tekii’s second dishonesty charge, Justice of the Peace John Kenning warned her that the next time she would not be so lucky. Her probation term will begin straight after her current probation term on July 14, 2016 and will end in January 2018.

George Keu Fred Maoate appeared for a charge of burglary. Due to the amount in question exceeding $5000, the case was adjourned until March 11 before visiting Judge Potter as it was outside the jurisdiction of a three JP sitting.

Nooroa Tomokino failed to appear when called upon to pay reparations resulting from a previous charge of careless driving.

His defence counsel, Wilkie Rasmussen, said Tomokino had been discharged without conviction. However at the time, sentencing JP Carmen Temata had been unable to order Tomokino to pay reparation as the amount was outside the jurisdiction of a single JP.

After further research, JP Kenning had discovered this was incorrect and that JPs are allowed to order reparations to any value as they see fit.

Rasmussen pleaded with the court to consider the matter as a civil, rather than a criminal case as Tomokino had already been sentenced and the matter was purely a monetary one.

An adjournment was set for February 18 to allow counsel and police to negotiate a fair amount before returning to court.                - SM 

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