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Man who breached probation conditions warned of jail time

Monday 24 October 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, Crime

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Man who breached probation conditions warned of jail time
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 his wife.

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 costs.

‘Seriously high’ blood-alcohol reading

A man has pleaded guilty to being five times over the legal blood-alcohol limit when he crashed his car in Tupapa.

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 scene.

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 shave.”

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.