Man escapes prison term

Tuesday February 05, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

A man who was charged with two counts of assault on a female and one count of breaching a police safety order has escaped a prison sentence at the Cook Islands High Court.

 

George Fatafehi who pleaded guilty to the charges, was sentenced to 12-months’ probation including 12 weeks of community service on Thursday.

He appeared before Justice of Peace Georgina Williams who said Fatafehi was lucky as she was considering a short term prison sentence.

The court heard that this was Fatafehi’s third appearance in court for a similar offence.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said Fatafehi and his partner have not had any issues or any incidents since October last year.

He said the two have been co-operative and were making things better for themselves and for their family.

Rasmussen requested that the Court give Fatafehi a chance to move on and tackle life with his partner who was present in court to give him support.

Rasmussen asked that Fatafehi be given a chance to continue his work as he had a stable job as an electrician.

“He is very remorseful. He accepts this should not have happened and his partner stands by him, he is a good father.”

While Probation Services recommended 18-months’ probation and nine months’ community service, police prosecution recommended 12-18 months’ probation.

Rasmussen asked the court not to impose community service because his client works on Saturdays and for the court to only consider probation with conditions not to be breached.

JP Williams said Fatafehi was previously convicted for an assault on a female matter.

“It’s not the alcohol’s fault. It’s your attitude, it needs to change,” she told Fatafehi.

JP Williams acknowledged the defendant’s partner for being in court and the couples’ initiative of undertaking counselling.

In sentencing Fatafehi, JP Williams said, “The first three months are for community service, these 12 weeks is a light sentence.

“You are not to purchase or consume alcohol not to enter any liquor licence premises including night clubs, not to leave Rarotonga without approval from the High Court, ttend counselling as directed by probation and any breaching of the condition will result in a prison sentence.”

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