‘Exploiting the system’

Saturday January 25, 2020 Written by Published in Crime

A man accused of the violent robbery of Tex Mart store was released on bail – and allegedly went straight out and committed another aggravated robbery. 


 A top retailer is calling for a review of court bail, after the man alleged to have bashed his worker was let out of the cells to do it again.

Tereapii Greg Mose was charged in November with the aggravated robbery of the Tex Mart store in Arorangi, in which 18-year-old shopkeeper Anakin Tipokoroa was punched to the ground and left for dead.

Last month, Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams allowed him out on bail again, with a reminder to stick to his curfew.

But yesterday, he was back in court after police arrested him for a new aggravated robbery.

He already faces seven other charges of burglary, theft and contempt of court. No plea has been entered.

Mose is alleged to be involved in a number of beachside thefts and home break-ins last year; his associate Tuterangi Ataera had already admitted to the charges.

Cook Islands Police Service says it’s being let down by the court when reoffenders are granted bail.

Police faced a tough job to ensure known offenders complied with court orders including curfews and other bail conditions, spokesperson Trevor Pitt said.

“The Police face a lot of pressure not just in resource constraints, but in the ability of known offenders to exploit the system and its weaknesses,” he said.

“Police must uphold the court orders, including curfews and other bail conditions.  It's a tough job that stretches the staff.”

Tex Mart owner Tex Tangimetua went further, urging the court and prosecution to look into cases where reoffenders have been bailed and continue to commit the same offences.

 “For me, I think they should be locked up,” Tangimetua said. “I don’t see them changing, they keep offending. They should not be on bail.”

After first being bailed by JP John Whitta in November, and then again by JP Georgina Williams last month, the High Court this week remanded Tereapii Mose in custody.

Defence lawyer Mark Short did not oppose the custodial remand, after learning of the new aggravated robbery charge.

Short told the Court he would not be applying for bail because after the last charge Mose was bailed, and again committed a similar offence.

JP Carmen Temata said Mose now faced nine charges.

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