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11 November 2022

Cashier pockets more than $1000 from till

Thursday 22 February 2024 | Written by Joanne Holden | Published in Court, National

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Cashier pockets more than $1000 from till

A mother-of-six who stole more than $1000 while working as a cashier at a Rarotonga supermarket has received a suspended sentence.

Ukura Heimata "breached the trust of her employer" when she pocketed $1100 from the cash register during her shift at CITC Supermarket on November 11, 2022, Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo said.

Heimata, 33, was ordered to come up if called upon in 12 months when she appeared before Justices of the Peace John Whitta, Tangi Taoro, and Angeline Tuara in the Criminal Court in Rarotonga on Wednesday.

Heimata had pleaded guilty to a charge of theft as a servant.

JP Whitta said he had not taken part in the sentencing decision, declaring a conflict of interest because his wife was general manager of CITC.

Tararo said Heimata, who had no prior convictions, repaid the stolen amount ahead of sentencing.

JP Taoro said Heimata was employed by CITC between April and November 2022.

"You did breach the trust that was bestowed upon you by your employer, and that leaves an everlasting effect on employer-employee relations," JP Taoro said.

"This is unacceptable and should not be condoned, especially when you are in a place of trust.

"The court would like to highlight the seriousness of this offence, which carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment."

Heimata was "very remorseful" and "wished to apologise to the court", JP Taoro said.

JP Taoro ordered for Heimata's passport to be returned to her as the mother-of-six planned to move to Auckland, New Zealand to care for her mother.

Heimata was also ordered to pay $50 for court costs.

Arrest warrant issued

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man who failed to appear in court for sentencing on charges of theft and contempt of court.

Okirua Robert Manuela was scheduled for sentencing before Justices of the Peace John Whitta, Tangi Taoro, and Angeline Tuara in the Criminal Court in Rarotonga on Wednesday.

When Manuela failed to appear, Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo requested that a warrant be issued for his arrest.

JP Taoro granted the request.