Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511
A man who breached his probation orders has been warned by a Justice of the Peace that he was a “step away” from prison.
Kitione Rokosuka appeared in
the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday before JP John Whitta. He pleaded
guilty to two counts of breaching a probationary licence.
Rokosuka was serving 12
months’ probation after pleading guilty to assault on a female. His term is set
to expire in May 2023.
According to the summary of
facts, read out in Court, his probationary conditions included that he was not
to consume or purchase alcohol, or enter any licenced premise. He breached this
condition on September 1, and again on October 1, where he was spotted having a
drink at a licenced establishment.
Defence counsel Norman George
told the Court that Rokosuka had one drink and was “forced” to go clubbing with
JP Whitta reminded Rokosuka
that “being intoxicated was the cause of the original offending”.
George told the Court that
Rokosuka had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, and was willing to accept
a sentence of community service.
“He knows he can’t brush this
aside, he is aware of the seriousness,” George said.
JP Whitta said a sentence of
probation was a “small step” away from prison.
“This is not a good start for
you,” JP Whitta said.
“The point of probation is the
opportunity to serve your sentence in the community.”
JP Whitta ordered him to serve
the remainder of his sentence on community service, and fined him $100 in Court
A man has pleaded guilty to
being five times over the legal blood-alcohol limit when he crashed his car in
Simione Meteka appeared before
Justice of the Peace John Whitta in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday.
He pleaded guilty to driving
while disqualified, driving with excess blood alcohol and careless driving.
According to the summary of
facts, read out in court, Meteka was driving near Tupapa when his vehicle
veered off the road and crashed.
He sustained injuries and was
blood-tested by the police, where he drew a reading of 250mcg of alcohol per
100ml of blood, the legal limit is 50mcg.
He had previously been
disqualified from driving on July 12.
Defence counsel Lavi Rokoika
told the Court that Meteka had been struggling since his wife left the Cook
Islands for New Zealand.
“He is extremely apologetic
and embarrassed,” Rokoika said.
Rokoika also said there were
two other people in the vehicle at the time of the crash, but both left the
JP Whitta told Meteka that the
reading was “seriously high”.
“It’s not hard to imagine that
this crash could have been much worse,” JP Whitta said.
“It was a seriously close
JP Whitta disqualified Meteka
from driving for 12 months, with the sentence to be served concurrently with
his current disqualification, and fined him $150 in Court costs.