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Monday 1 May 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National


Rape accused vacates pleas and seeks review of charges

A man with a long criminal history, charged with multiple offences including rape and indecent assault, has vacated earlier pleas and asked for disclosure on the charges he is facing.

Daniel Akama appeared in the High Court on Friday charged with rape, indecent assault, three counts of burglary and contempt of court.

Crown lawyer Jamie Crawford said Akama had two set of charges, some older, and in the hands of police.

The Crown had only just received the file, she said.

Crawford said the accused had entered guilty pleas to charges brought by police, a separate matter.

Chief Justice Patrick Keane asked Akama if he still wanted to represent himself.

Akama said he wanted to change his pleas and asked for full disclosure on all his cases.

He said he wanted to withdraw his pleas and review the position, before looking at the disclosure, and seeking legal aid.

Police said they had no problem in providing the defendant with disclosure.

The matter would be recalled in May and he was remanded in custody.  

Akama appeared in court in February facing a multitude of charges, including dangerous driving and failing to stop, where he told a Judge he wanted his case dealt with “sooner rather than later”. 

Akama, in custody at the time, appeared on charges of unlawfully taking, two of dangerous driving causing injury, excess breath alcohol, two of failing to stop and render assistance, failing to stop on demand, and three contempt of court charges. 

He told the court he didn’t want legal representation and wanted the matter dealt with “now”, and that the matter was “dragging” on.

“I’m not happy,” he said at the time.

Akama said he had already entered a plea in the Criminal Court, while Probation said a report had been ordered, but they were waiting on new charges.

At the time, CJ Keane said he understood Akama’s frustration and said he would have the matter called so it could be dealt with earlier. 

In 2020, Akama was convicted for taking a safe box and damaging restaurant property.

Justice of the Peace Carmen Temata sentenced him to a jail term of two years and six months. His two-and-a-half-year sentence reflected not just the severity of this crime – but the fact it was the tenth time he had been before the court.