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Man guilty of injuring gets bail following night in custody

Friday 17 March 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, Crime, National

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Man guilty of injuring gets bail following night in custody
Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511

A man has been bailed after spending a night in custody following a three-day jury trial in which he was found not guilty of injuring a woman with intent but guilty of injuring her by an unlawful act.

But the matter has only been made public after Cook Islands News appealed a decision by Justice Christopher Toogood to hold the hearing in chambers at the High Court in Avarua yesterday.

The publication made an appeal in court and was subsequently granted permission by Justice Toogood only to publish the bail decision at the end of proceedings.    

Oswell Tunupopo was charged with injuring with intent to injure following an incident in Rarotonga on July 3, 2022.

He was held in custody overnight on Wednesday after a jury of 10 women and one man delivered the verdict at the High Court in Avarua on Wednesday.  

He is to be sentenced on Friday, March 24. 

Justice Toogood supressed all other details discussed in court yesterday.      

Justice Toogood earlier suppressed the complainant’s name and any information leading to her identification, and made a further suppression order on Wednesday to not name any children involved in the matter. 

The case revolved around an argument between Tunupopo 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 pushed him back then he punched her in the face with a closed fist.

She then punched him in the testicles and hit him on the head with a coffee filter.

Both of them received cuts and were taken to hospital for treatment.

Justice Toogood on Wednesday told the jury he would ask for a victim impact statement and probation report which would be explored before sentencing.