However, after spending 271 days in jail already, Justices of Peace Tangi Taoro, Mata Nooroa and Tauei Solomon ordered for Teaumetua Araipu to be released immediately.
Araipu will however remain in custody until February 22 when probation finds a suitable home for her.
Araipu’s matter has dragged on since 2015 and on January 19 this year she appeared before JP John Whitta and was represented by lawyer Mark Short.
Short had requested the court for her to be released on bail and into the care of her brother as she was in custody for a long time.
Bail was opposed by senior police prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo and JP Whitta agreed to this stating that since July 2015 it took 18 months to get Araipu up for sentencing,
This caused the defendant to make a sudden outburst against Short.
Short there and then withdraw from handling any matter involving Araipu or her family.
This week Araipu, who pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary back in 2015 and one charge of theft, was represented by defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen.
The court heard that on July 19, 2015 Araipu broke in and entered a home in Rarotonga, on November 2, 2015 she broke in and entered a room in Muri Beach Resort, Arorangi and again broke into the resort the same year.
On September 17, last year, the court heard Araipu stole a bottle of Jim Beam worth $60 from a store in Arorangi.
Sergeant Tararo said the penalty of burglary carries a sentencing period not exceeding 10 years for each charge and the sentencing for theft must not exceed five years.
Aggravating factors said by Fairoa were that alcohol was involved; she invaded tourist accommodation and breached the trust of the community.
In mitigation he said Araipu pleaded guilty at the earliest and has been in custody since last year.
Fairoa said the defendant should be sentenced to six months imprisonment with 12 months probation and the court must take into consideration the time the defendant already spent in prison.
Defence counsel Rasmussen did not object to Fairoa’s submission and said Araipu had come a long way in the past couple of years.
He said in 2014, she returned from New Zealand to be around family in Kavera, Arorangi.
Rasmussen said Araipu is the twin sister of a brother who decided to return to NZ when they first arrived years back.
“They were both under the umbrella of a child/ youth services in NZ but came to Rarotonga to reconnect with her parents and in July 2015 Araipu started to appear in court on a number of matters,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said he advised the young woman to “get her act together”.
According to a report by Ministry of Health’s Director of Psychiatric Services Dr Rangi Farius; the defendant needed self care and medication but there has been no support from the family or the authorites to help improve her situation.
In sentencing, JP Tangi said the court acknowledged the seriousness of the charges but also the situation of Araipu’s family life.
She said probation was also concerned with the defendant’s accommodation if she were to be released.
Araipu was sentenced and convicted with 12 months probation with the condition to have counseling at the Punanga Tauturu and to attend any workshop directed by probation.
She was also ordered not to consume, or purchase, alcohol and not to enter any licensed premises.