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Assailants avoid prison sentence, gets warned

Wednesday 21 July 2021 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Crime, National

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Two people convicted of assault have been given stern words in the Criminal Court at Avarua.

A woman convicted of assault was told at sentencing that a prison term had been considered while a man convicted of assaulting his partner was told the court had specific concerns for his victim and children.  

Both appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta in the Criminal Court at Avarua for sentencing on Tuesday. 

Julia Kajer was sentenced to 18 months supervision with six months community service and $50 court costs on a common assault charge.

Justice Whitta said he had concerns about the nature of the assault as it involved kicks to the victim’s head and face.

Kajer, 30, the court was told, had a history of assault, an assault of a child two years ago and an assault in 2012.

“This assault you committed was not minor,” Justice Whitta said.

“You initiated the assault, you believed the victim had a relationship with your partner when you were in New Zealand.

“The overall of this is your health, I am aware of your health issues combined with personal circumstances; I did consider a prison term.”

The court heard the incident happened in April when Kajer assaulted the victim following an argument between the two.

Justice Whitta said he was also concerned the assault started inside a house and continued outside, despite the efforts of others to stop it.

Defence lawyer Keykore Ahsin said Kajer had just returned from New Zealand where she had attended rehabilitation prior to the assault.

“We accept that she has been struggling with mental health, she is deeply remorseful, she is asking for further assistance from probation.”

The police prosecutor said he had been made aware Kajer had received counselling in New Zealand but had not been presented any supporting reports.

In sentencing Kajer, Justice Whitta advised her to abide by probation.

Tuaine Okotai Tangimetua also appeared for sentencing on Tuesday for assaulting a female.

In sentencing him to 15 months’ probation with six months community service, Justice Whitta told the 35-year-old he was worried about what Tangimetua’s partner, who was present in court with their four children, had said in her impact statement.

“I am worried about comments in the victim impact statement, your partner is willing to accept this but we don’t want to see this again.

“It worries me that your partner accepts this, it also concerns me that you have children and it is not good for children to live in a violent home.

“This will be your second offence on a female, if you offend again there could be a different outcome.”

The court heard Tangimetua had appeared before the court charged with assaulting a female in 2012.

Police had highlighted alcohol as a factor while Tangimetua had entered an early guilty plea.

In March this year, Tangimetua and his partner had been drinking when he slapped her in the face.

He then struck her face with a stick which resulted in the victim receiving a broken finger.

“The victim said everything is fine but the police want you to be held accountable.

“You have appeared before on similar charges, your defence has said you have remorse but you have anger when you are drinking.”

Justice Whitta said Tangimetua could not go to bottle stores or licensed premises upon sentencing him.   

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