Holiday ends with fines, hospital bill

Tuesday November 07, 2017 Written by Published in Local
It was an expensive visit to court last week for a visiting couple who were involved in a motorcycle crash at Tupapa. 17110602 It was an expensive visit to court last week for a visiting couple who were involved in a motorcycle crash at Tupapa. 17110602

A visiting couple ended their Rarotonga holiday in the Avarua High Court last week, when one of them received a criminal conviction and $300 worth of fines.

 

Craig Newton appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta on a charge of driving with excess breath alcohol.

The incident occurred on Tuesday October 24, when the couple were driving home from town and were involved in an accident on the main road in Tupapa.

After a resident notified police and emergency services of the accident, Newton’s wife was transported to hospital by ambulance and Newtown was taken to police headquarters for questioning and a breathalyser test.

The test showed Newton was over the legal breath/alcohol limit and he was held in the cells for the night.

Newton appeared in criminal court the following day. In their summary of facts, police said alcohol had been a contributing factor in the smash, which had left Newton’s wife with broken bones. 

Due to fly home the following day, Newton told Whitta that he would prefer to pay the fine straight away and leave.

At the time, Whitta told Newton he would need to surrender his passport and remain on Rarotonga for another week.

It was said the police needed additional time to finish their investigations and finalise the charges.

Newton appeared in court on Thursday November 2, where he was represented by lawyer Mark Short.

Newton pleaded guilty and was convicted and charged.

He was ordered to pay $250 in fines, and an additional $50 in court fees. In addition, the pair had to pay around $1000 in hospital bills.

Newton was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a motor vehicle drivers licence for 12 months and was told that once his fines and bills were paid, he would be permitted to return home.

CINews was unable to verify whether Newton had also paid reparations for the motorbike the pair were riding when they crashed.

The Newtons have been variously described by court officials as New Zealanders, Australians, and yesterday, Cook Islanders, but it has since been established they are from Australia.

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