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Accused released from custody on strict conditions

Friday 18 November 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, Crime, National

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Accused released from custody on strict conditions
Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511

A man facing intent to injure charges has been released from custody on strict conditions.

The court was told Samuel Vaile had been in custody for two weeks following an incident with his partner and brother-in-law.

Defence lawyer Mark Short said there had been meetings with medical specialists and family members, and it had been confirmed Vaile was fit to enter a plea.

“He is not crazy or mentally disturbed, he has all his faculties,” Short told the court.

The court heard Vaile was being regularly monitored by Health Ministry staff and was taking medication, as directed.

“I have spoken to his partner and family who are the victims, they have drafted a letter and are asking for the charges to be withdrawn.”

Short said Vaile had been involved in an incident when he went to visit his partner and one-year-old daughter.

During the visit, his partner grabbed the daughter from him and an argument ensued.

The defendant’s brother-in-law started to argue with the defendant as well, when the defendant grabbed a fishing spear from his truck and threw it at him.    

Short said Vaile suffered from bipolar disorder and it appeared he wasn’t taking his medication at the time of the incident.

He was remanded in custody to allow a psychiatrist and psychologist from Ministry of Health to assess his mental status.

Brown said Vaile had written a letter of apology to his brother-in-law.

The family wanted him to get back to work.

“I want to see him back with his family, I want him released,” Short said.

“The father, who is most concerned has seen improvements.”

Short said his client was aware there would be conditions imposed if he was released.

“If he plays up, he will likely be returned to prison, he understands the risks, he has apologised to the victim.”

Police then asked for confirmation from Health that Vaile could be released.

The matter was stood down while Short contacted authorities.

About 30 minutes later the matter was called again.

Short said he had contacted authorities who had said Vaile could be released on conditions that he not consume alcohol or drugs, attend relationship counselling, and report to Ministry of Health for his medication.

Police supported the bail conditions and asked for a plea at his next appearance.

The matter was adjourned to December 8 by Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro with bail conditions as set out by the Ministry of Health.