Man faces 11 dishonesty charges

Thursday November 30, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

A man facing 11 dishonesty charges pleaded guilty to all of the offences in the Avarua High Court last week.

 

Vaikaloa Taufahema, who was represented by defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen, appeared before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams.

Rasmussen told the court he had instructed his client to plead guilty to the five theft charges, and six burglary charges.

Williams told Taufahema that due to the nature of the charges, he would have to appear before a judge as sentencing for all 11 charges was outside of the jurisdiction of a three-JP panel. She added there was no space in the High Court session now underway, overseen by visiting Justice Christine Grice.

Rasmussen agreed and said it would give him enough time to build up mitigating factors to be presented at the defendant’s sentencing.

“During this time maybe the police will even think about dropping one or two of the charges,” he joked.

Rasmussen asked that his client be let out on bail, as the time till the next judge’s visit would be “lengthy”.

Police Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo said police strongly opposed bail due to the defendant’s history and the severity of the charges he faced.

He said there was a strong possibility Taufahema would face time in prison, and noted that this alone should act as a major reason to oppose bail. He suggested that the court set a call over for December.

Tararo said if that happened, he would again oppose bail adding that police would not agree to bail at any point.

“In my opinion this incident seems to be a drunken spree, where the defendant has offended whilst under the influence,” Williams says.

“In my mind, if you can propose conditions that keep him away from alcohol, then I don’t see an issue.

“However that will be at the discretion of whoever is sitting at the next adjournment.”

The matter was adjourned until December 21. A date for sentencing would be set by the court registrar; and sentencing would take place in 2018, said Williams. 

Taufahema was remanded back in custody.

Leave a comment