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11 November 2022

Assault accused denied bail

Wednesday 21 February 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Court, National


Assault accused denied bail
Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511

A man who is facing 13 charges for assaulting a female was denied bail by the Justice of the Peace John Whitta at the Criminal Court in Avarua.

Travel Jack Engu, represented by defense counsel Michelle Tangimama appeared before JP Whitta last week Thursday.

He denied all 13 charges of assault on a female.

He is accused that on June 16 last year at Panama he assaulted a female by punching, head-butting, punching, kicking her while she was on the floor and hitting her head against the wall.

He was also alleged to have assaulted the same female by squeezing her nose and mouth, pulling her hair, punching her face and urinating on her on June 17, last year at Avarua.

He is further alleged to have assaulted another female on November 11, last year by pushing her, punching her face, arm and until she became unconscious.

He also faces a charge of assault with intent and contempt of court whereby on November 11, 2023 he disobeyed court orders not to consume alcohol.

Tangimama entered a not guilty plea for all the charges on behalf of her client.

In her bail application she said the defendant was first denied bail on December 14 last year and has been in custody since.

She said they were seeking a medical report of one of the female victims.

Looking at Engu’s criminal history, she said he did have an assault on a female charge in 2011, had escaped custody and was in contempt in 2014 and 2010.

She further spoke on the human rights and freedom of the defendant and requested a last chance for bail.

However, Crown Law opposed the bail application stating that there was no new evidence to support the application.

The Crown said the defendant was allowed bail last year, given a chance to prove himself but now faces numerous serious charges and one of his charges is contempt of court order, has a history of contempt, escaping custody and is violent.

JP Whitta adjourned the matter to March 1 and said a different bail application needed to be made and be put before a judge.