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Court briefs 31.10.2022

Tuesday 1 November 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Court, Crime


Court briefs 31.10.2022
Cook Islands High Court. 12081330

No money for lawyer: Rurutoa Maoate and Ngatokoitu Uri, both facing assault charges, say they don’t have the money to pay their lawyer.

Maoate is charged with assault on a female and two counts of assault with intent to injure. Uri is charged with common assault.

They appeared together in the Criminal Court at Avarua on Thursday last week.

Lawyer Norman George represented the two defendants but said he would like to seek leave by mutual consent.

Maoate told Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro, who oversaw the matter: “We will bat for ourselves because we cannot find the money to pay him”.

George said his fee was $500.

Maoate asked for the matter to be adjourned and that there was a possibility for it to be resolved outside of court.

“If you can give us time maybe two months or three, up to you but this is what I ask,” he said. “I truly believe there is a possibility to settle this matter outside of court.”

JP Taoro said the charges the defendants faced were serious and they should seek legal representation.

The matter is adjourned for December 15.

JP Taoro also told the defendants they needed to be in a position to make a plea at their next appearance. 

Assault with intent

Samuel Vaile charged with assault with intent appeared in the Criminal Court at Avarua on Thursday.

Vaile appeared out of custody.

Police asked for Vaile to remain in custody based on a history of similar offences.

The matter was adjourned to November 17 by Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro. Vaile was ordered to remain in custody. A psychiatric report was also ordered by the JP.

Guilty to assault charges

A man pleaded guilty to a string of assault charges on Thursday.

Sunai Joseph pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on a female, assault with intent to injure and wilful damage.

Joseph’s lawyer was Mark Short.

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro adjourned the matter for sentencing on December 20.

Drink driving

Taniela Momo pleaded guilty to excess breath alcohol in the Criminal Court on Thursday.

Momo was caught more than three times over the legal breath alcohol limit on October 22.

Momo’s lawyer Lavi Rokoika said her client was sorry for what happened.

Justice of the Peace Tango Taoro fined Momo $265 for excess breath alcohol and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

JP Taoro also ordered Momo to pay $50 to cover court costs.

High reparation cost

Tikaroa Marsters charged with careless driving was advised to seek a lawyer because he’s facing $2000 in reparation costs.

Marsters appeared in the Criminal Court on Thursday.

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro said she “highly advised” Marsters to seek legal representation.

The matter is adjourned for November 17.