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'Acting for change’

19 July 2022

Rugby Union

In brief: Court news

Friday 22 July 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Court, National

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In brief: Court news
Photo: Supplied

Name suppression for mental health.

A person who is going through mental health issues has name suppression extended at the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday.

Justice of the Peace John Whitta who oversaw the matter said he granted name suppression because the defendant was going through mental health issues and publication of their name would only make it worse. 

“It just adds problems on top of problems,” the JP said.

JP Whitta said in the future the Court should look at granting more name suppressions for people with mental health issues.

The defendant’s lawyer Keykore Ahsin said his clients threatening to kill charge looked like it would be withdrawn.


Not guilty to excess blood alcohol

Joeli Ligavatu pleaded guilty to careless driving but not guilty to excess blood alcohol at the Criminal in Avarua.

Ligavatu appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta on Thursday.

Ligavatu’s lawyer, Norman George told the JP he was contesting the charge.

“For the first time I am challenging the analysis of the blood.”

George asked for an entire day for a defended hearing.

The matter is adjourned.


Lawyer stuck with client

Lawyer Mark Short has remained as counsel for Mario Van-Eijk after trying to withdraw.

Van-Eijk charged with assault on a female appeared at the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday before Justice of the Peace John Whitta.

Short told JP Whitta he wanted to withdraw as counsel because his client did not respond to his messages.

However, in Court Van-Eijk said he still wanted to have Short as his lawyer.

Crown lawyer Jamie Crawford said Crown was considering adding further charges to Van-Eijk.

“We have reviewed the file and it is relatively serious domestic violent offending.”

The matter has been adjourned to September 1.