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Dogged defence wins the day

Friday June 14, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Dogs are legally required to be registered. 18010110 Dogs are legally required to be registered. 18010110

Justice of the Peace Carmen Temata was meant to be judging serious crimes in the High court yesterday.

 Instead, she had to see a man about a dog.

And frankly, she questioned whether it was a good use of her time.

Samuel Crocombe appeared before the Justice, accused of failing to register his dog.

He explained he had been in court twice about the matter – and the dog in question wasn’t even his.

Police prosecutor senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo seemed equally bemused. He said the police rosters had been changed and he hadn’t been able to discuss the matter with the police officer in charge of the case.

The reason the case had been brought to court was because the dog caused an accident, and when police investigated, it was found the dog was not registered.

Tararo asked for an adjournment, to give him time to review the case.

But Justice Temata questioned how serious the matter was – and dismissed the charge.

Defence counsel Norman George, who translated for Crocombe, said his client was frustrated and, despite putting the matter before the court, police were still not clear about the matter.

Police had failed to prosecute the defendant, he said – and therefore the case could be dismissed.

“Where the police fail to prosecute, under the Act you have the right to dismiss the charge,” George said. “It’s not prosecution’s fault, but the officer in charge.”

JP Temata said although she sympathised with the police prosecutor’s predicament, the arguments presented by the defendant were valid.