Five appear on assault charges

Friday December 30, 2016 Written by Published in Crime

FIVE cases involving assaults on females were brought before Justice of Peace John Whitta in the Cook Islands High Court on December 29 this week.


The cases resulted from arrests made by police during the Christmas long weekend from December 24 - December 27.

Nooroa Junior Kakino was represented by lawyer Mark Short who submitted letters of support from the defendant’s partner and employer.

Senior police prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo said it was not the first time Kakino had committed an assault on a female and there was no guarantee that if he was bailed he will not commit the same offence.

“He has a history in this matter and he is currently on probation for the same offence. The letters that have been handed in will not be helpful because it is a fairly serious charge,” Tararo said.

He said the offence carried a penalty of up to seven years’ imprisonment and the court had to know that the safety of the victim was of concern.

Short said a letter from the defendant’s partner submitted to the court contained a request to the court to drop the charges.

She wrote that she knew Kakino “wasn’t himself “when he committed the assault

“The letter from the employer is requesting his release so he may resume work. His problem is his friends and alcohol, and he apologises,” Short said.

He said the defendant’s partner believed the only way Kakino could stop his behaviour was for him to stay home and be subjected to a curfew.

The defendant’s partner had requested to speak in court, however this was not permitted as it could have an effect on the matter, Short said.

Kakino told JP Whitta that his partner had only reported on him so he would “look bad” and he asked the court to allow her to speak.

However, JP Whitta cautioned Short on this, saying it would affect the victim on a later stage.

Short said he understood. He said it was common in cases such as this that after a female complained and “over-exaggerated” their statement, they then tried to drop the charges. However, they could then be charged with making a false statement.

Whitta said no plea had been taken, the same defendant had appeared previously on a similar matter, and it is still the middle of a festive season.

The defendant’s bail application was denied and the matter was adjourned to January 19, 2017.

Appearing on the same charge, Para Rau Pitomaki Junior Pitomaki was also represented by Short, who said it was Pitomaki’s first appearance and asked the prosecution to hand in disclosures.

Short said this was a relatively new matter; and Pitomaki was living with his partner who had not complained to the police.

JP Whitta adjourned the matter to January 26, imposing bail conditions on the defendant not to offer violence.

Kavewa Matthew, who appeared in court in early December on a charge assaulting a female, appeared again for reoffending and for the possession of a utensil for drug use.

Police prosecutor Tararo said the defendant had previous charges to answer to and had reoffended since the last court session.

“We are requesting the court for further remand on the grounds of how serious the matter is as there is no guarantee that if bailed, he will not reoffend,” Tararo said.

He said Matthew had been given previous warnings but had offended again.

He said defence counsel Norman George was not available at present but would be advised of his client’s charge soon.

JP Whitta said he had no choice but to remand Matthew until January 26 next year when he will appear in court on the current and previous matters.

Rauruma Andrew Mariri appeared on similar charges. Sergeant Tararo said the defendant was a first offender and the victim and his mother were in court, asking for the charges to be withdrawn.

“I have explained that this is not possible, but we requesting for the defendant to attend counseling.”

JP Whitta adjourned the matter to February 2 for a call over and to review the defendant’s counseling.

He said the court would decide his sentencing after the counseling and Mariri was bailed at large.

Metua Ngurangi also appeared for a charge on assault on a female, committed on December 25.

JP Whitta advised him to get a lawyer.

Ngurangi was approved bail on condition that he is not to purchase or consume alcohol and must not offer violence.

The matter was adjourned to February 2.

Five people appeared alcohol related charges as a result of arrests made in the Avarua, Nikao and Tupapa areas over the Christmas holiday weekend.

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