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Name suppression remains for woman accused of arson

Friday 21 April 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National


Name suppression remains for woman  accused of arson
Police were called at 11.11pm on March 12 about a house on fire on the back road of Akaoa. The house was extensively damaged, police said. POLICE MEDIA/ 23031602

A 39-year-old woman has made a second appearance in Court charged with arson in connection to a house fire in Arorangi on March 12.

The woman, who has continued interim name suppression, was again remanded on bail without plea to April 28.

Her bail conditions include not to purchase or consume alcohol, to surrender her passport to the Court, not to make contact with the victims, and not to leave Rarotonga.

She appeared before Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday. 

The woman’s lawyer Lavi Rokoika sought an adjournment to June 1 and asked for name suppression to be extended.

Crown lawyer Jamie Crawford said she had just received the file and asked that the matter be transferred to a Chief Justice as the maximum penalty was 14 years’ jail.

Crawford said April 28 would be the date for the defendant’s next appearance. 

The Crown did not oppose name suppression.

Rokoika confirmed April 28 for the next call over.

JP Taoro confirmed the defence had asked for an adjournment as the investigation was ongoing and adjourned the matter to April 28.   

The woman was arrested by Police on March 15 after being interviewed in connection with an incident that was reported late in the evening of March 12.  Police were called at 11.11pm about a house on fire on the back road of Akaoa.

The house was extensively damaged, Police said in a statement at the time. 

Airport Rescue Fire sent a truck with three officers and were assisted by two trucks and eight officers from Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade.