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JP adjourns sentencing after probation recommends jail

Saturday 17 December 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Crime, Culture, National

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JP adjourns  sentencing after probation recommends jail
Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511

A man who breached his probation orders on multiple occasions has been given a week’s reprieve while a Justice of the Peace considers whether he should go to jail.

Kitione Rokosuka appeared in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday before Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro. He faced breach of community service and breach of probationary licence charges.

JP Taoro adjourned the matter to December 23 after probation recommended a custodial sentence.

Rokosuka had previously been warned by a JP he was a “step away” from prison when he appeared before JP John Whitta on October 20.

His probationary conditions include that he is not to consume or purchase alcohol, or enter any licenced premise.

He is serving 12 months’ probation after pleading guilty to assault on a female. His term is set to expire in May 2023.

Rokosuka breached this condition on September 1, and again on October 1, when he was spotted having a drink at a licenced establishment.

On October 20, JP Whitta ordered him to serve the remainder of his sentence on community service, and fined him $100.  

On Thursday the court heard Rokosuka again breached his conditions on October 6. Police attended an incident in Turangi where he was found to be consuming alcohol.

Then on November 26 he failed to complete community service.

Probation asked the court for a six-month jail term, which was supported by police.

Defence lawyer Norman George said his client’s problems centred around a broken relationship.

“It has put his life into disorder; he ended up losing control.”

While probation had recommended jail, George asked the court to consider the “human side”.

“He is upset about losing the lady he loved; going to prison is adding to the bills and is not helping him.”

George asked JP Taoro to take more time to consider the matter.

“The point of probation is the opportunity to serve your sentence in the community.”

The matter was adjourned to December 23.

JP Whitta ordered Rokosuka to serve the remainder of his sentence on community service, and fined him $100 in Court costs.