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$1500 donation leads to discharge without conviction

Monday 2 May 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Court, National

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$1500 donation leads to discharge without conviction
Photo: Supplied

A high-profile sporting executive who slapped three women on the buttocks with a machete has paid $1500 to a local charity which combats violence against females.

Romani Katoa (46) who was charged with carrying an offensive weapon in a public place and three counts of assault on a female, appeared in the High Court at Avarua on Friday for sentencing.

The Court had heard in an earlier hearing that on August 15, 2020 at 2.30am after drinking, Katoa approached a group of young people at the canoe shed by Trader Jacks with a machete and shovel.

The group were drinking, smoking cannabis and behaving in a disorderly manner.

Chief Justice, Sir Hugh Williams QC who oversaw the matter said Katoa “banged the machetes flat side against the buttocks of three women”.

Defence counsel Mark Short said Katoa was remorseful and wanted to apologise for the harm he had caused.

“It’s not going to happen again,” Short told the Court.

Short said Katoa had since donated $1500 to the Cook Islands Women’s Counselling Centre, which “do very good work” in offering support to women who have been victims of violence.

Chief Justice Williams acknowledged Katoa’s otherwise good record and his high-achieving CV, and discharged him without conviction.