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In brief: Court news

Saturday 11 June 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Court, National


In brief: Court news

Gabriel Smith pleaded guilty in the Criminal Court on Thursday in Avarua for refusing a blood alcohol test and was discharged without conviction for careless driving.

According to the summary of facts, on Saturday April 9, coming from On The Rocks, Smith crashed on the Empire Bridge after driving over a rope that was acting as a speed bump.

Smith, who was also carrying a passenger, cut his knee and received other minor scratches. He was given medical treatment and refused a blood alcohol test.

Smith’s lawyer, Norman George said at 1am his client did not see the rope that resulted in the crash.

“This was an unfortunate accident and you could imagine those ropes, heavy thick ropes spread across the road without any warning to the public can be quite difficult.”

George said Smith was using a walking aid for weeks following the accident.

“Although he might have been seen as uncooperative with police the man was suffering.

“It wasn't malicious, he was still in shock.”

George said the ropes were a dangerous source of speed control and asked Justice of the Peace Vania Kenning, who oversaw the matter, for the careless driving charge to be discharged.

He also said Smith was “named after the angel Gabriel” and that should be taken into consideration.

JP Kenning imposed a $250 fine for excess blood alcohol, suspended Smith from driving for 12 months and fined him $50 in court costs.

The careless driving charge was dropped but $50 in court costs still needed to be paid for the charge.

Threatening to kill charge dropped

Putere Dean had his charge of threatening to kill dropped on Thursday in the Criminal court in Avarua.

Police asked Justice of the Peace Vania Kenning to withdraw the matter because of “evidential insufficiency”. 

The JP withdrew the charge.