Study saves man from jail time

Friday 17 July 2020 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Crime


Study saves man from jail time

Despite fifth appearance before the Court, young offender avoids incarceration.

A young man who admitted to a charge of burglary was given the benefit of the doubt when he was not given a custodial sentence due to his plumbing studies.

On April 17 this year, 19-year-old Steven Arthur Junior Emile broke into the home of a medical personnel at around 1am.

The summary of facts showed that Emile entered the house in Tikioki through a bathroom window.

Realising the homeowner’s daughter was in the house, Emile ran out immediately.

This was Emile’s fifth appearance before the Court, his previous matters were also burglary and common assault.

Justice of the Peace Carmen Temata said it was disappointing to see him in Court for the fifth time.

She said Emile was employed at a resort and resided with his grandmother who expressed frustration.

JP Temata said in his probation report, Emile’s grandmother said he was a good worker, but he was stubborn and arrogant when he was drunk.

Defence lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen said while prosecution submitted a custodial sentencing, Probation Services suggested rehabilitation.

“Probation looks at this young man’s rehabilitation, he is undergoing a plumbing course, he is a model student.”

Rasmussen said Emile was one of those young men who had been at a crossroads, he had been in trouble in the past but now he realised his wrongdoings.

“We need to have some faith, he will do his best,” Rasmussen said.

He said Emile did not come from a broken or dysfunctional family and the decisions of his past were his own.

JP Temata said Emile did not agree with the police summary of facts, but he did admit he was intoxicated when committing the crime.

She said the maximum penalty for his charge is five years imprisonment.

But police confirmed that nothing was taken, however the victim’s daughter was traumatised and they have taken necessary safety precautions.

JP Temata said she and other Justices of the Peace Bernice Manarangi and Mata Nooroa were close to sending the accused to prison.

However, due to his current plumbing course at the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institution, Emile would not be able to continue the course from prison, she said.

“This maybe your last chance, should you appear in this Court again, you know what will happen.”

Emile was sentenced to 12 months’ probation with six months’ community service, with conditions not to consume or purchase alcohol and not to enter any liquor license premises.

He was also ordered to attend any counselling or workshops provided by Probation Services and not to leave Rarotonga without the approval of the High Court.