Court busy despite date confusion

Wednesday October 04, 2017 Written by Published in Local

Despite some confusion after its weekly sitting was postponed from Thursday to Friday last week, the Avarua High Court was busy dealing with a wide variety of cases, including six involving assaults on females.


Other matters before Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams included nine burglary charges, six of possession of a utensil for drug use, seven common assault charges and 15 minor traffic offences.

Anthony Ikimotu was charged with possession of cannabis and possession of a utensil for drug use. Represented by defence counsel Charles Petero, he pleaded guilty to both. Sentencing was scheduled for November 27 and the defendant was bailed at large. 

Douglas Taripo appeared before Williams for failing to stop on demand and driving whilst disqualified. The court was told Taripo was facing his third charge of driving while disqualified, and had previously served time in prison on similar charges.

Williams told the defendant, who was represented by defence counsel Mark Short, that he was on his “last chance”.

“You are well known to the police, but they have said up until now your compliance has been satisfactory,” Williams said.

Taripo was convicted and sentenced to two months’ community service and ordered to pay $50 court costs.

Throughout the court fixture Williams noted that there had been confusions with a last minute change in dates due to the state funeral for the late Dame Margaret Makea Karika Ariki taking place last Thursday.

She gave defendants who failed to turn up to court “the benefit of the doubt” and adjourned some matters till October 5.

“I did see people turn up to court yesterday, so there must have been some confusion,” she added.

However, there was no confusion when it came to a case involving Stephen Kajer who was charged with driving with excess blood alcohol.

The court was told that the defendant who now resides in Mitiaro, had informed Police Prosecutions he would return to Rarotonga for his court appearance.

However, he failed to appear in court on Friday and Williams granted a bench warrant for his arrest.

A bench warrant was also ordered for David Vaevaemaki. The defendant, who faced one charge of assault on a female, was originally represented by defence counsel Mark Short.

The court was told the defendant, who failed to turn up at court on Friday, had recently told Short that he no longer wanted a lawyer.

Short withdrew from the case, leaving Vaevaemaki unrepresented.  

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