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Jail no deterrent for assault-accused

Thursday September 14, 2017 Written by Published in Local

A man who recently served two months in prison for an assault that was described as “callous and cruel,” has appeared in court on another assault charge.


Marcus Anderson, represented by defence lawyer Norman George, appeared on September 7 before Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi, on a charge of assault with intent to injure.

The court heard that Anderson, who was released from the Arorangi Prison less than seven weeks ago, and who is currently on probation, was involved in an altercation during which he assaulted a relative and was arrested.

The defendant, who had previously chosen to represent himself in court despite professional advice not to do so, stood emotionless in the defendant’s box.

George requested an adjournment without plea and police prosecutions agreed. The matter was adjourned till October 19.

Anderson previously appeared in the Avarua High Court before Justice of the Peace John Whitta on May 25 charged with assaulting a female.

The charge came after an altercation between Anderson and his wife which resulted in police and medical services being called to the scene.

It was revealed that the defendant had slapped the victim across the face, causing her to fall to the ground.

The court heard that the defendant then picked the victim up by the head, tilted her head upwards and sprayed air freshener in her face, leaving her in pain as the spray chemicals got into her eyes.

Officers who attended the scene of the incident described Anderson as uncooperative and aggressive, saying he punched and attempted to cause damage to a police vehicle.

During Anderson’s May appearance, Police Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo told the court domestic violence was a major issue in the Cook Islands, and that violent incidents were cause for concern.

“Domestic violence is a serious issue in the Cook Islands and the court must denounce and deter anyone from inflicting this kind of hurt on anyone else.”

The defendant told the court the offence on his wife would be his one and only assault and that he had “learnt his lesson”.

In both his most recent court appearance and and his appearance on May 25, the court was told of Anderson’s criminal history.

Before his last two offences, Anderson was convicted on two charges. The first took place in 2014 and Anderson was sentenced to 12 months’ probation and six months’ community service.

The second, in March 2015 resulted in 12 months’ probation with conditions.

In September 2015, Anderson was charged with three counts of breaching his probation conditions.

The recent charge makes a total of four charges of assault in just three years.

Whitta, who sentenced Anderson to two months in prison and 12 months’ probation on the third assault charge, told the defendant it was clear previous convictions and penalties had not deterred him from offending.

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