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In brief: Court News

Saturday 27 November 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Court, National

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In brief: Court News
Cook Islands High Court. 12081330

A man charged with dangerous and reckless driving was asked to pay reparation costs of over $7000 to the victim whose vehicle he crashed into.

Reparation costs

A man charged with dangerous and reckless driving was asked to pay reparation costs of over $7000 to the victim whose vehicle he crashed into.

In the Criminal Court at Avarua on Thursday, Teinakore-O-Atela Ataera who represented himself pleaded guilty to the charge.

Police said on November 22, Ataera crashed into the right side of the victim’s car.

“There were substantial damages occurred to the vehicle,” police said.

The court heard the repair would cost $7798.

Lawyer Mark Short, who was in court at the time and did not represent Ataera, said he was concerned that there was only one quote.

He said the matter should be adjourned to give the defendant time to get a second opinion on how much the damages would cost to repair.

“$7000 is a very high amount in these Covid times,” he said.

Short said he knew Ataera, who was a father always trying to look after his children. He said Ataera’s wife also passed away and asked the court to show leniency.

Justice of the Peace, Nadine Newham agreed with Short and adjourned the matter for December 2.

14 days custody

Okirua Manuela was sentenced to 14-days of custody for driving while disqualified in the Criminal Court on Thursday.

On September 28, Manuela was found guilty in the Criminal Court for excess blood alcohol.

He appeared again on October 28 for two charges of driving whilst disqualified and appeared on Thursday for the same charge.

For his offence of driving whilst disqualified, he was spotted driving on the back road of Nikao on November 9.

Manuela entered a guilty plea through his lawyer Norman George.

The court heard before Manuela’s court appearance on Thursday he had been in custody for 15 days.

Justice of the Peace Nadine Newham said because the defendant already spent over two weeks in prison, he did not need to spend any more time in custody.

“If you keep doing this you may keep ending up in prison, or for a longer-term,” the JP said.

Man bailed

Tuterangi Ataera charged with joint burglary was released on bail on Thursday at the Criminal Court at Avarua.

Ataera’s lawyer, Norman George said his client had been in custody for three weeks and wanted bail.

Police said they were not opposed to bail but asked for curfew hours between 7am and 7pm.

Justice of the Peace Nadine Newham approved bail with the curfew imposed. Ataera is also not allowed associate with co-defendants.