November sentencing for driver

Friday January 13, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

A WOMAN charged with careless driving causing injury pleaded guilty at the Cook Islands High Court on Thursday.


Ruth Tepaano appeared before Justice of Peace Georgina Williams and was represented by lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen.

The court heard that on December 31 last year, Tepaaano was driving a motor vehicle on the Avarua main road when she caused bodily injury to a female Tupapa resident.

Senior Police Prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo told the court that prosecution and defence counsel had agreed on certain terms in order to make progress with the matter.

In his submissions, Rasmussen said the defendant was ready to plead guilty and to have the matter heard before a judge.

However, Rasmussen said Tepaano was employed and resided in New Zealand and would not be able to attend the first High Court judge sitting in March.

“We have discussed this and we are requesting the possibility of her returning to New Zealand due to her work commitment and adjourning this matter to November,” Rasmussen said.

He said this would give time for Tepaano to accumulate some leave.

Making a formal application for the defendant’s passport to be released, Rasmussen told the court that Tepaano’s family had managed to raise $1000 which would be deposited to the High Court as a bond.

The court was also informed Tepaano was expected to depart Rarotonga for New Zealand this Sunday.

Sergeant Tararo had no objection to Rasmussen’s submissions.

JP Williams said Tepaano was scheduled for sentencing before Judge Christine Grice in November.

She ordered the release of Tepaano’s passport as soon as the bond was deposited. She ordered a probation report to be filed before Tepaano’s departure and adjourned the matter for a call over in Tepaano’s absence on September 7.

Only two matters were brought before the court and an assault matter has been adjourned to February as the accused is overseas.

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