Wednesday 10 May 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Court, National
Vakatini yesterday stood at the dock as JP Taoro convicted and sentenced him to 12 months’ probation supervision, with three months of community service.
The court heard it was Vakatini’s second assault on a female conviction. He faced a similar charge in 2017.
JP Taoro said it was on March 2 this year that Vakatini admitted to the offence, committed on January 1, when he assaulted his ex-partner, saying, he slapped her two to three times.
According to the probation report, it was Vakatini’s third court appearance, where one was for a traffic offence, and one for an assault on a female offence.
He was sentenced on August 24, 2017 to probation services.
She said Vakatini was now separated from the victim, has six children with her, and continues to financially support the children.
According to the medical report, the victim’s right eye was bruised and swollen, while the left eye had minimal swelling.
The impact statement report showed that this was not the first time he had committed such an offence, and it was not the first time he abused her. It was for the sake of their children that the victim stayed with him.
Defence lawyer Mark Short said they supported a Probation Services sentencing recommendation of probation supervision.
He said the matter was a silly case, a couple’s dispute where the partner had damaged his vehicle, and then slapped her.
“It happens, they are human, and no one is perfect. He still provides for the family, his ex-partner does not work.”
He said: “It is silly because when someone damages a vehicle, they could be charged for wilful damage, but he did not.
“He is in a good relationship with the ex, they are not together.”
He said Vakatini made an early guilty plea and was remorseful.
Vakatini was ordered not to purchase or consume alcohol, not to enter any liquor licence premises and not to leave Cook Islands without court approval. He was ordered to pay court costs.