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Contempt of court brings warning from Justice of the Peace

Friday 31 December 2021 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National

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Contempt of court brings warning from Justice of the Peace
Cook Islands High Court. 12081330

A man facing two contempt of court charges has been told by a Justice of the Peace he is close to going to jail.

Talimealahi Tuileila appeared before JP John Whitta in the Criminal Court at Avarua on Thursday.

The police prosecutor said Tuileila appeared in court on December 23 on a charge of breaching a safety order.

Conditions were imposed, not to drink alcohol or go to licenced premises.

On December 24, he was sighted at the Tupapa Centre with a can of Woodstock.

He was seen consuming it.

On December 25, he was questioned by police and admitted to meeting his partner and consuming Woodstock at home.

The police prosecutor asked for a fine to be imposed.

Defence lawyer Norman George said the defendant went to the Tupapa Centre to meet his wife, and went into the premises, not realising it was licenced.

George said Tuileila was there to pick up his wife from housie, and did not consume liquor, but had liquor at home.

“I’m not disputing the police summary, he was a past client of mine, he has to change his ways.

“He is very apologetic.”

George said Tuileila had started a new life as a builder and was not drifting anymore.

“Overall, I believe he is undergoing promising changes.

“I advised him that he is just to drop his partner off.”

George said the defendant had spent three nights in jail as a result of his arrest, “A huge price to pay. He paid the penalty enough by losing his freedom.

“I believe the road he is travelling has been straightened.”

JP Whitta told George: “You fight a good fight for someone you help on a regular basis.”

JP Whitta said his notes indicated the defendant should be remanded in custody.

“You paid no attention to the charges last week,” he said to Tuileila.

“I will give you a chance now that you have spent Christmas away from your family.

“Make sure you don’t come back again.

“You were close to going to jail.”

JP Whitta convicted and fined Tuileila $75 for each charge and imposed court costs of $50 for each charge.