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Monday 15 April 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Court, National


Inmate seeks Chief Justice  to hear case

A man who is serving time in prison for threatening to burn down a house and a car last year is before the court again for a charge of assault with intent to injure.

Iorama Ngataua appeared before Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro at the Criminal Court on Thursday requesting that his case be set before the Chief Justice.

Ngataua is accused of assaulting a person with the intent to injure him on February 4 this year.

The details of the matter were not specifically mentioned in court but he is currently serving time at the Arorangi Prison for a 15 months sentence that was imposed on him since May last year, followed by a probation term to undergo counselling.

In 2023, he was convicted for wilful damage, one of a threatening act, one of threatening to kill, and one count of assault with intent to injure during the period of 2020 to 2022.

At that time, it was reported that Justice Christopher Toogood told Ngataua: “There is some hope for rehabilitation and an opportunity to do so. You need to manage your moods,” noting that Ngataua’s mental health assessment did not find him to be mentally unwell.

Ngataua told the Court on Thursday that he would represent himself, just as he did in his previous case despite being convicted after the trial. He requested the court to provide him with disclosures.

He said he would not enter a plea until he received the police disclosures.

Police prosecutor, senior sergeant Fairoa Tararo said disclosures would be ready in two weeks.

The defendant said: “This is not my first time in court, I have seen the CJ before I took a plea.”

He said he had been locked in solitary since February for investigation, he could represent himself and needed disclosures to take a plea.

JP Taoro adjourned the matter to April 26 for the Chief Justice Court for a call over at 9am.