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In brief: Court news

Friday 25 February 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Court, National

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In brief: Court news
Photo: Supplied

A man pleaded not guilty to burglary and two acts of indecent assault on Thursday in the Criminal Court at Avarua.

Not guilty to burglary

The man who currently has name suppression pleaded not guilty through his lawyer Lavi Rokoika.

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro presided over the case. A hearing with a judge will be set by court staff.


Letter of withdrawal

Raj Deo appeared in the Criminal Court at Avarua on Thursday for assault on a female.

The court heard a letter of withdrawal from the alleged victim was given to the police.

Deo’s lawyer Lavi Rokoika asked for an adjournment until April 7 to give police time to review the letter.  

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro, who presided over the case, granted the adjournment.

In another similar matter, Tereipa Williams, who represented himself, appeared in the Criminal Court for assault on a female.

The court heard the victim gave the police a letter of withdrawal.

Police asked Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro for time to review the letter.

The matter was adjourned for April 7.


Failure to appear

Two of defence lawyer Lavi Rokoika’s clients failed to appear in the Criminal Court at Avarua on Thursday.

Rokoika asked the court to excuse Robert Maropai for not appearing. Maropai is charged with aiding and abetting theft.

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro said the non-appearance was excused and the matter was adjourned for April 7.

Rokoika’s other client, Okirua Manuela charged with driving whilst being disqualified also did not appear.

Rokoika asked court to withdraw as Manuela’s lawyer. She also asked court to issue a bench warrant. Police also asked for the bench warrant.

JP Tangi Taoro ordered Manuela’s arrest.


19 people appear in court for failing to pay a fine

The majority of people who appeared in Thursday’s Criminal Court were for unpaid fines.

Nineteen people were called into court at Avarua for failure to pay a fine.

In January, police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said courts would not be clogged with people failing to pay fines if drivers “simply did what they’re supposed to” by keeping up their legal obligations.

Police fined a record number of drivers for a range of traffic offences in December 2021. Infringements totalled 290 for the month – a total that would normally be spread over six months or more.

Nearly 75 per cent of drivers fined were under the age of 40. The most common minor offence – 76 per cent of the total number of fines was driving without a warrant of fitness.