Lawyer airs frustration

Monday June 17, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Lawyer Norman George. Lawyer Norman George.

Frustrated defence counsel Norman George has questioned how long his clients would have to be in custody for a psychiatric assessment.

 This comes after two cases in the High Court were adjourned on Thursday, as the counsel’s clients did not have their psychiatric reports.

Teremona Saddler appeared before Justice of Peace Carmen Temata for a charge of damaging property.

The background of his case as George recently said was sad and involved a series of events that led to the defendant needing a psychiatric assessment.

George said his client has been in custody since last week waiting for a psychiatrist who resides in Atiu to assess Saddler’s mental state.

“I don’t know what’s the hold up. He was scheduled for the assessment. The psychiatrist was here last week.”

Saddler who has admitted to the charge will appear again next week.

On another matter, George once again aired his frustration that the non-availability of a qualified psychiatrist on the island was causing delay with his client’s court matter.

Okirua Manuela, faces several charges of wilful damage and breaching probation.

Manuela is alleged to be always damaging his parent’s property if he is not given what he wants.

George questioned what was happening and if they as counsel are expected to wait for a psychiatrist.

He said Manuela is expected to be sentenced on June 25.

George added that on the call-over next week, if an assessment is not done on his clients mental well-being he will be seeking bail.

He said it was not right that Manuela would have to be sentenced without a psychiatric report.

On another custody case, burglary suspect Paulo Teio has been released on bail. Teio is understood to have been in custody since March.

Defence counsel Mark Short submitted that his client would be residing with his partner and partner’s sister and his employer had asked that he resume work as they are short of staff.

Police prosecutor senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo did not object to bail.

Teio was granted bail under the conditions that he is not to enter any liquor licenced premises, nor consume or purchase alcohol.

He is also on curfew from 5pm-6pm and is to report to the Police headquarters between 5pm-6pm every Friday.

Teio faces nine charges including theft, burglary and contempt of court and excess breath alcohol (EBA).

The matter was adjourned to July 18.

Tutai Amiri, who was charged with excess breath alcohol, two counts of driving while disqualified and refusing an EBA test, was allowed bail. 

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