Assaults top court cases

Wednesday September 07, 2016 Written by Published in Crime

Assault offences topped the 33 court matters called before Justice of the Peace John Kenning at the Cook Islands High Court last week.


The 10 assault matters were followed by nine driving-related charges, three burglaries, tax matters and three cases involving car warrant of fitness issues. There was one cannabis charge.

On two separate matters of assault with intent to injure, defendants Jason McCarthy and Antonino Diespoeito were represented by lawyer Tony Manarangi.

Manarangi told the court his clients lived in New Zealand and sought a memorandum from the police prosecution to confirm the charges were to be withdrawn.

Manarangi said both defendants had already paid a bail bond of $3000.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo said police were asking for both matters to be withdrawn.

On another assault matter, James Junior Morrison Kiriau appeared on a charge of common assault and fighting in a public place.

Lawyer Mark Short requested that the common assault matter be withdrawn, as the victim no longer resided in the Cook Islands.

Sergeant Tararo said the defendant had entered guilty pleas through a defence counsel and that the common assault charge had been withdrawn.

JP Kenning adjourned the case to September 8 so that Short could seek further instructions from the defendant for his plea on the second charge.

On a spousal matter from Atiu, involving charges of common assault and assault with intent to injure, JP Kenning separated the matters and adjourned the case to next month.

Crown lawyer Alison Mills asked defence counsel Norman George to ensure the defendants were present at the next callover and that pleas be entered.

Casey Viti was convicted of careless driving and fined $50, with court costs totaling $30.

Earlier, the court was told a reparation issue had delayed her sentencing. Lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen said reparation costs given by the owner of the damaged vehicle were “unsatisfactory.”

He said he needed information from an insurance company regarding the amount that had been quoted for repairs.

JP Kenning said the reparation matter could be taken before the civil court by the owners of the vehicle. Police Sergeant Tararo said the matter should be dealt with immediately and the vehicle owner could then take the reparation matter to the civil court.

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