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Court briefs

Friday 14 April 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Crime, National


Court briefs
The High Court in Rarotonga.

Drink driving tradie asks for alternative

A tradesman charged with excess breath alcohol and careless driving has asked to do community work as part of his sentence.

Wezley John Hewitt appeared in the Criminal Court on Thursday where he asked if he could undertake community work as he was teaching plumbing on Rarotonga.

He told the court he understood the consequences of his actions but asked to “do something in the background”.

The court heard he was stopped for drink driving in the early hours of April 9 and blew 620 micrograms per litre of breath.

Police said he was sited not wearing a motorcycle helmet and with a passenger on a motorcycle.

He failed to stop and was later stopped at a convenience store about 2am.

He refused to make a statement.

Justice of the Peace Vania Kenning told him the court was bound to disqualify him from driving for at least six months before he would be considered eligible for a partial driver licence.

He said his job involved driving around to check on plumbers.

JP Kenning said that option was not available.

Again, she said he could apply for a partial licence after six months.

He was fined $30 for careless driving plus $50 court costs, then fined $350 plus $50 court costs for excess breath alcohol.

He was disqualified from driving for 12 months.     

‘Please don’t come back’

A woman convicted of theft as a servant has been told by a Justice of the Peace that he hopes not to see her in court again. 

Justice of the Peace John Whitta made the comment in convicting and sentencing Viriama Marsters in court at Avarua on Wednesday last week.

“Please don’t come back and I mean that in a nice way.”

The court heard Marsters, 21, had chosen to proceed with the matter without a defence lawyer.

There was a recommendation for a long-term suspended sentence.

Reparation of about $500 had been paid.

JP Whitta asked Marsters if she wanted to say anything, and she then acknowledged what she had done was wrong.

On October 17 last year a theft was reported to police and Marsters admitted to taking up to $1000.

She had been observed on CCTV taking money from a cash till.

At that point she was spending beyond her means but had since found a new job and made reparations.

While police said it was a gross breach of trust, she had made an early guilty plea and received numerous letters of support.

JP Whitta said it was a minor amount of money but a major breach of trust.

“You were spending more than you could afford.”

Marsters was convicted and ordered to come up for sentencing in 12 months.

“It gives you a chance to get yourself going,” JP Whitta told her. “Stay out of trouble for 12 months.”