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Arrest warrant for rape accused

Saturday 26 November 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Court, National

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Arrest warrant  for rape accused

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Mangaia man who failed to turn up to the High Court for sentencing

Teina Ngametuatoe was due to be sentenced by Justice Colin Doherty on Friday in the High Court in Avarua.

Ngametuatoe has pleaded guilty to a series of charges, including assault on a child, three counts of indecent assault on a girl between the age of 12 to 16 years old, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, one charge of rape, two charges of assault on a female and two counts of assault with intent to injure.

However, Crown lawyer Jamie Crawford informed the Court on Friday that Ngametuatoe had failed to appear, and was likely to still be in Mangaia.

Ngametuatoe was due to be in Rarotonga by November 11 for his probationary report to be completed before his sentencing.

Crawford asked for the Court to issue a warrant for arrest, and that a policeman be sent to Mangaia to apprehend Ngametuatoe.

Ngametuatoe was due to represent himself in the High Court. The matter has been ongoing in the courts for more than 12 months, with Ngametuatoe first appearing in the High Court in October 2021.

Ngametuatoe’s friend George Pitt said he was not surprised Ngametuatoe did not appear in Court on Friday.

“There was always the question of who will pay for the airfares back to Rarotonga, and where he will stay. That hasn’t been answered,” Pitt said.

“It’s not a matter of him not wanting to come to the Court, it’s a question of who pays for it.”

Pitt said his real concern was for Ngametuatoe’s family.

“Who is going to look after his children once he gets sentenced? I don’t think anyone has put any thought into that.”

In August this year, former Crown prosecutor Annabel Maxwell-Scott said the matter needed to be progressed urgently and requested that any granting of bail would be on the grounds that Ngametuatoe did not leave Rarotonga.

“My concern is that he will go back to Mangaia and bury his head in the sand again. He’s facing some serious charges,” Maxwell-Scott then told the Court.

Justice Christine Grice then remanded Ngametuatoe on bail and told him he would have to enter a plea on his next appearance.

Bail conditions included that he was to surrender his passport, not to leave Rarotonga, not to contact any witnesses or be with children under 16 unless present with an adult guardian.

In October when he pleaded guilty to the charges, Ngametuatoe was remanded on bail in Mangaia on the condition he will return to Rarotonga in sufficient time before being sentenced by Justice Colin John Doherty in the High Court in Avarua on November 25.