Defendant narrowly avoids arrest warrant

Monday November 13, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

Fifteen people appeared before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams in the Avarua High Court last Thursday.

 

A bench warrant was issued for Jonathan Bailey, represented by Wilkie Rasmussen, who told Williams he had tried to contact the defendant a day earlier, without success.

Rasmussen suggested the matter be adjourned, but Williams said she would prefer a bench warrant to be issued for Bailey’s arrest.

Police Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo confirmed that the prosecution would also be making an application for a bench warrant.

Williams granted the application on the grounds that it was not the first time Bailey had failed to appear in court.

Less than half an hour later, however, Bailey turned up at court alongside another defendant.

“You are lucky, Jonathan (Bailey), I was just about to have you arrested,” Williams said. 

Bailey pleaded not guilty to a charge of burglary. At a previous court appearance he had pleaded guilty to four burglary charges.

Tararo told Williams he would prefer it if all the charges were dealt with at the same time. Bailey was then scheduled to appear before a three Justice of the Peace panel for a defended hearing. The JPs will preside over the single burglary charge to which Bailey has pleaded not guilty, and the four he has pleaded guilty to. 

Rasmussen told Williams his defendant might vacate his not guilty plea at a later date.

Bailey will appear before the court next year, at a date yet to be set by the court registrar. The bench warrant was cancelled and Bailey was advised to be on time for court appearances in the future.

Okotai Rongo also failed to appear in court. Rongo was to appear on two charges - one if being drunk in a public place and another for being unlawfully found on premises.

His lawyer, Norman George told Williams the offender had not made contact with him, and sought to withdraw his services.

“This defendant has failed to meet with me at all the set times and my patience is exhausted.

“I would like to withdraw my counsel and hand this case back to prosecutions,” George said.

Williams granted the withdrawal and a bench warrant was ordered for Rongo’s arrest.

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