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Woman discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to assaulting ‘cyberbully’

Tuesday 25 October 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Court, Crime

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Woman discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to assaulting ‘cyberbully’

A woman who punched someone who had allegedly been cyberbullying her has been discharged without conviction.

Gandersillai Wainiqolo Vosaki appeared in the Criminal Court before Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro on Monday. She had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault.

According to the summary of facts, read out in Court, the incident occurred on December 19, 2021.

Vosaki and her friend, the driver, began following the victim after the victim shouted abuse at the pair from her car, and caught up with the victim near Arorangi.

The victim stopped her car in a driveway, and Vosaki and her friend pulled up in their vehicle and stopped the victim from leaving.

Vosaki pulled the victim out of her car, and a brawl ensued. Bystanders moved in to stop it, but it continued for some time.

Defence counsel Norman George said the two people knew each other well, and the victim had been the former partner of Vosaki’s partner.

“The victim had waged a campaign of cyberbullying, which had been going on for two years,” George told the Court.

“When the victim yelled out at the defendant, it was like pouring kerosene on the fire.”

George said neither party required hospital treatment for the brawl and there were no consequential injuries.

George called for a discharge without conviction.

“This was a fight between two women. It is not an example of the highest cases of assault,” George told the Court.

George said that Vosaki was a capable and competent individual who was well regarded at Infrastructure Cook Islands, where she worked.

“The action (of the assault) was both a relief and a cause of sadness for my client. Relief because it ended the bullying, and sadness because she was brought up not to resolve matters with violence,” George said.

“This is a very responsible woman.”

In sentencing Vosaki, Taoro noted the victim impact statement, which said the victim had been “very stressed” by the incident.

However, Taoro also noted the incident had been caused by “ongoing issues which had been occurring since 2019”.

“You are remorseful and ask the court for leniency,” Taoro told Vosaki.

Taoro also noted that Vosaki had filed a complaint with police about the cyberbullying not long before the brawl.

“In this case, the defendant is also a victim,” Taoro said.

Taoro discharged Vosaki without conviction and ordered Vosaki to pay $50 in Court costs.