One ‘bottler’ remanded, another discharged

Friday March 02, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Ngatokotoru Kaitara Nicholas appeared in the Cook Islands High Court yesterday, charged with two counts of wounding with intent.

He appeared before Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi in relation to an incident outside the Rehab Nightclub in Avarua on February 16. It is alleged Nicholas was attacked by four assailants and used an empty bottle trying to defend himself. His counsel applied for bail, but it was denied due to the serious nature of the offending. He has been remanded until Justice Potter’s visit presides in the court on February 9.

There was also another alleged ‘bottling incident’ before JP Manarangi yesterday.

Teherenui Turoa Koteka appeared on a charge of common assault. It is alleged Koteka was party to a dispute at Rehab Nightclub and became involved in an altercation with another woman. Police alleged Koteka pulled the victim’s hair in the bathroom and later struck her head with a bottle. However, Koteka’s counsel, Mark Short, said his client was provoked and that this was “completely out of character”. Koteka is a law student studying at Victoria University in Wellington. Short mentioned that she had already bought her plane ticket back to New Zealand.

He also submitted that his client was not disputing the facts and was willing to enter an early guilty plea. He argued that a conviction would be detrimental to her future career prospects. Short said his client had been attending counselling sessions and had since apologised to the victim. He read to the Court a number of letters of support, including statements from the offender’s mum and Pu Tapere for Ngatangiia, Keta Williams.

Police opposed the application for discharge without conviction, however JP Manarangi said she would give Koteka “the benefit of the doubt” in discharging her without a conviction.

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