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Man fined $2000 for damaging power pole

Friday 25 November 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Court, National


Man fined $2000 for damaging power pole

A worker who crashed his truck into a power pole near Muri has to pay reparations for both the damaged power pole, and the cost of the police moving the vehicle off the road.

Joseva Lasaganibau appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving.

According to the summary of facts, read out in Court, the defendant was driving home from work about 9am on November 6, when he lost control of his vehicle near Muri and collided into a power pole.

Police arrived on the scene not too long after the crash, and moved his truck off the road.

Defence counsel Lavi Rokoika told the Court that Lasaganibau had been returning from work and was tired at the time of the crash.

She said Lasaganibau had offered to move his vehicle off the road, and should not need to pay reparations for that.

“My position is given that my client wanted to move the vehicle, he should not be burdened with extra costs,” Rokoika told the Court.

JP Whitta took issue with this.

“It would have been an obstruction on the road. That’s why the police were called in. It is in the police’s interest to ensure the safety of the roads as soon as possible,” JP Whitta said.

“The way I’m seeing it is that the police might not have been willing to wait.”

JP Whitta acknowledged Lasaganibau had no previous offences, and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He convicted Lasaganibau and ordered him to pay reparations of $2000 for the damaged power pole, $450 for the police’s moving of the vehicle and $100 in Court costs.

Meanwhile, Greta Remuera, who crashed her motorcycle into a car on September 20, has been ordered to pay reparations to the other vehicle owner.

JP Whitta acknowledged Remuera’s early guilty plea and the fact it was her first offence and she had already started making reparations, but also noted she “failed to keep an eye on the road” when driving near Arorangi.

JP Whitta discharged her without conviction and ordered her to pay $2085 in reparations, $100 for the blood-alcohol test, and $50 in Court costs.