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Saturday 25 March 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Court, National


Tunupopo gets 18  months’  probation

A man who was found guilty by a jury trial for injuring by an unlawful act was sentenced to 18 months’ probation with the first three months to be served for community service.

Justice Christopher Toogood further sentenced the 35-year-old man to undergo counselling or course for anger management organised by probation, not to contact the victims and not to leave the Cook Islands without probation services approval.

Oswell Tunupopo appeared at the High Court in Avarua yesterday, represented by defence counsel Tudor Clee. Crown Law was represented by Mariata Pittman.

He was convicted for an incident in Rarotonga on July 3, 2022 that revolved around an argument between him and a group of people. A number of children were present and an argument broke out about who would look after a couple of them.

A woman intervened and Tunupopo pushed her. She allegedly pushed him back then he punched her in the face and she allegedly punched him in the private area and hit him on the head with a coffee filter.

Justice Toogood said the assault was captured by a CCTV camera.

Pittman in her sentencing submission told the Court that the offence involved violence where a single punch to the victim’s head resulted in laceration to the head.

Defence lawyer Clee said a letter of apology was submitted and that Tunupopo was seeking to make reparation of $1000 to the victim and a complainant.

Justice Toogood said there was no evidence that Tunupopo consumed alcohol or drugs at the time.

He said it was clear that the jury took a sympathetic view but they were not persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt.

Justice Toogood said Tunupopo was well regarded by his employer and regularly supported his children financially.

Tunupopo was further ordered to pay reparations of $1000 each to the victim and the complainant as compensation.