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Friday 9 February 2024 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National
Judge Romeo Nee Nee faces
four charges of assaulting a female and single charges of breaching a
protection order, and assault with intent to injure.
At the Criminal Court on
Thursday, a charge of unlawful detainment was added.
Nee Nee, in custody,
appeared in court where Crown prosecutor Jamie Crawford repeatedly raised
Crawford said the charge of
unlawful detainment carried a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.
Crown opposed bail at the
risk of reoffending and interference with the alleged victim.
Crawford said she was aware
the victim had been to visit him in jail but still feared him.
The Crown would ask for
strict bail conditions if he wanted bail.
While the couple had a child
together, there needed to be conditions to stop him reoffending, Crawford said.
From the dock, Nee Nee said
he had a letter to pass on to Justice of the Peace Vania Kenning through the
JP Kenning asked him if he
was intending to use the services of a lawyer.
The defendant said he was
and that he had not yet received disclosure.
He wanted to see disclosure
and seek legal advice before entering a plea.
JP Kenning took several
minutes to read and give the letter consideration.
Crawford said disclosure
could be given to a lawyer and that Crown Law could assist with finding the
defendant a lawyer.
Nee Nee then said the victim
had visited him in jail twice in the past week and told him she was not afraid
He said she had told him to
not plead guilty.
“I feel like there is a lot
of miscommunication with the Crown.”
JP Kenning said she wanted
to get feedback on the matter, in moving forward, agreeing with the defendant
that there were two stories.
JP Kenning asked how long it
would take to get bail conditions sorted and what they would look like.
Crawford said she would be
happy to discuss those matters with a lawyer, and it depended on how quickly a
lawyer could be found.
Again, Crawford said,
releasing Nee Nee into the community without conditions in place was a risk.
JP Kenning asked Crawford if
she had some idea.
Crawford said there would
need to be an appropriate address and no contact with the alleged victim.
Any contact would have to be
made through a family member.
A protection order was still
in place and Crawford said she would speak to the alleged victim.
JP Kenning said it was
highly recommended that Nee Nee engage a lawyer, so discussions could be held
between the Crown and the lawyer.
“The victim will need to be
reminded that her contacting could jeopardise your case,” JP Keening told the
Nee Nee said he could get a
lawyer if he was able to get bail, as he could return to work and pay for a
He said his parents were in
court, and that he was incarcerated in maximum security with no access to a
Crawford said the defendant
was entitled to speak to a lawyer.
JP Kenning said she would
exercise caution and recommended he engage a lawyer.
The defendant then said he
had been in custody for 16 days, and had asked prison wardens for assistance,
but been told no.
“The Crown will help you, Ms
Crawford, I will leave it in your hands to assist,” JP Kenning said.
Again, the defendant spoke,
saying he wanted bail with curfew conditions, and that he stay with his
He said he had been advised
by his mother that the alleged victim had told her, she did not fear for her
“I think, for your
protection, I will give you a week to find a lawyer,” JP Kenning said.
Crawford then said she had
been in touch with lawyer Michelle Tangimama and discussions could get underway.
JP Kenning then told the
defendant the matter could be recalled on Friday (today) or on Monday.
“The Crown says it needs to
be clear in terms of you and the victim; the protection order is on you, if
someone is trying to penetrate it then you need to protect yourself.”
Tangimama then appeared in
Crawford said she had
explained the situation to her.
Tangimama said she had
received instructions and would be seeking an adjournment so she could have
discussions around bail.
JP Kenning then asked if the
matter should be stood down.
Crawford said she would need
to talk to the victim, which would take a couple of hours, then asked how long
the court had.
JP Kenning said the rest of
“I don’t want to rush, maybe
tomorrow morning,” Crawford said.
“I think tomorrow,”
The matter is set down to be
heard in the Criminal Court today.
Nee Nee made multiple
attempts to gain his freedom when he appeared in the Criminal Court on January