Woman pleads guilty to cannabis cultivation

Monday November 27, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

A woman charged with cultivation of cannabis pleaded guilty when she appeared in the Avarua High Court on Thursday.


However, the matter was adjourned till January 25, 2018 for a call over and a date to be set for sentencing.

Wachter and her two sons Henry and Joseph Wachter, are facing a string of drug-related charges.

According to the Narcotics and Misuse of Drugs Act 2004, the maximum penalty for cannabis cultivation is 20 years’ imprisonment, while the penalty for cannabis possession is two years in jail.

With only three more criminal court sessions scheduled for 2017, the Ministry of Justice and the Avarua High Court is winding down for the year. However, the number of defendants appearing in court, and the amount of criminal activity show no sign of slowing down.

Twenty-six defendants appeared before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams on charges ranging from excess breath alcohol, to burglary, threatening to kill and possession of cannabis.

Pita Monga appeared alongside defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen on a charge of careless driving causing injury. The defendant was originally scheduled for a call-over in regards to his upcoming defended hearing, but opted to vacate his initial not guilty plea, and instead enter a plea of guilty.

He will appear for sentencing before Justice Grice on December 5. 

Karawete Highland pleaded guilty to his sixth drink driving offence since 2008. Defence counsel Rasmussen said that he had advised Highland of the repercussions involved in pleading guilty, especially considering his history, but added that his client had “insisted”.

Highland will appear before a Justice of the Peace on December 19.

Vaia Engu appeared on a charge of common assault. The local man, represented by Mark Short, was scheduled to be sentenced, but Police Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo said investigating police officers had raised concerns surrounding the knife used during the assault and other factors involved in the incident.

Tararo requested more time for officers to investigate the matter. The matter was adjourned till December 21.

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