Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511
A Justice of the Peace has told a man while sentencing him for assaulting his partner that domestic violence is ignored by some and excused by others in the community.
Ngamata Purotu entered a guilty plea to
assaulting a female when he appeared in court in Avarua on Wednesday.
Justice of the Peace John Whitta said
Purotu’s partner suffered facial injuries, including a split lip and swelling
to the eyes and face, after he placed his hands over her face and started
“No one deserves to be treated like that.”
In sentencing Purotu, JP Whitta said the
goal was to discourage and eliminate domestic violence in the community.
Purotu was sentenced to 12 months’ probation,
told to refrain from consuming alcohol, not to enter a licenced premises, not
to leave the Cook Islands, and ordered to pay $20 towards medical costs and $50
JP Whitta said: “This (assault) occurred
with a child in the house; there is no place for this.”
He said domestic violence was ignored by
some and excused by others in the community.
The court heard it was Purotu’s first
appearance on domestic violence charges, although he had a history of drink
Police recommended multiple options,
including a suspended sentence or probation.
JP Whitta said both options had negative
and positive factors.
He said he was aware the defendant’s
partner worked with his wife at Cook Islands Trading Corporation and asked the
court if everyone was happy for him to go ahead with sentencing.
“These matters are not discussed in our
house,” he said. “There is no imprisonment today, submissions are really good.”
The court heard Purotu, 33, who had been
drinking, had been in discussion with his partner prior to the assault.
The couple have an eight-month old child
and Purotu is employed.
The court heard Purotu had a supportive
He had two previous drink driving
convictions, and had been convicted for driving while disqualified.
Alcohol was a consistent factor in his
offending and police had asked that Purotu understand that he had done
“Your sentence reflects what you did and
should be a message to others.”
JP Whitta said it had been noted that
Purotu’s behaviour had improved since the incident on September 6.
However, in considering the sentence he
said: “There is no place for this.”
“Any sentence today has to pay attention