Assaults bring suspended sentence

Monday October 16, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

A young man was granted a suspended sentence in the Avarua High Court last week after pleading guilty to two assault charges.


Moana Katoa appeared in court on Thursday October 5 before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams for sentencing.

On August 24, Katoa, pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and one charge of assault on female, through his counsel.

The 19-year-old was said to have been out drinking earlier this year when a fight broke out.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen who defended Katoa, said it was the defendant’s first appearance before the court and that he had previously been described as being of good character.

“In mitigation the assault was described as minor, and did not require medical treatment. In fact the victims declined to go to the hospital,” Williams said when sentencing Katoa.

“And Mr Katoa, you have no previous convictions in this court.

“From your probation report, you are described as a hardworking man by your supervisors and also a well-disciplined young person.

“Your sister has said you contribute most of your pay to the household in a bid to help out, which shows that you are also responsible,” Williams said.

However, the JP gave the defendant a stern warning and highlighted the seriousness of his offence.

“From the court’s point of view, violence on a female is held in high disregard and the person (responsible) is to be held accountable for his actions and to deter others from committing similar offences.

“I note that you have shown remorse and have said you are more than willing to apologise to the victims. I suggest you write them a letter. Saying sorry is a good thing.

“Without a doubt in my view the element alcohol played in this assault was major.

“Having listened to the verbal submissions of your defence counsel, and his recommendation of a fine, I believe this is to easy.  “To pay it would simply be ‘end of story’.

“Given this is your first appearance in court, I have decided to put you on six months’ suspended sentence.

“This means if you appear in this court within the six months you will be brought up on these charges again.

“So I suggest to you that you behave yourself in the future, and watch out with the alcohol consumption,” Williams said.

As well as being given a suspended sentence, Katoa was ordered to pay $50 court costs.

Leave a comment