Man jailed for third assault on a female

Monday October 10, 2016 Written by Published in Crime

THE COOK ISLANDS High Court is putting its foot down on domestic violence and has jailed a man for his third assault on a female.


Marakai Mahitu - who had 10 previous convictions - was sentenced to six months imprisonment on October 6.

Mahitu appeared before Senior Justice of Peace John Kenning on the charges of one count of assault on a female and one count of common assault.

Defence lawyer Norman George, in mitigation, said Cook Islanders leaving their children behind to live overseas are the reason there has been an increase in the number of street kids or children who have gone wayward.

George said six months of imprisonment is adequate to cover both charges and disagreed that an additional month be added.

George suggested that imprisonment sentencing be concurrent to the six months, as his client has already been in prison for the past five months.

“He has come through a rough background, looking at his previous records, this is caused by parents leaving their children and they become street kids,” George said.

JP Kenning said Mahitu was incarcerated on June 14 for a charge of rape and common assault and he did not have a flash history.

This was Mahitu’s third matter involving assault on a female.

JP Kenning sentenced Mahitu to six months imprisonment followed by 12 months probation, with the condition that he refrain from the purchase and consumption of alcohol and must attend any counseling and workshop directed by the chief probation officer.

He must also pay reparation of medical costs of $20 and a court fee of $50 for the charge of assault on a female.

On the charge of common assault, Mahitu was sentenced to one month imprisonment that is set concurrently to the existing sentence. He has to pay another court cost of $50.

Kenning said such sentences are to commence from the day of his initial custodial remand, which was June 14 this year.

Speaking to Mahitu, JP Kenning said he was going to jail because that was his third offence for assault on a female.

He said the JPs have drawn a line in the sand and any assault on a female involving Mahitu in the future will cost him a longer period in prison.


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