Teen suspects for alleged bashing, robbery on bail

Thursday November 14, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

Two teenagers who were arrested in connection with the alleged bashing and robbery on Sunday night were granted bail at the High Court yesterday.

The two male teenagers have been placed on a 24 hour curfew.

The two believed to be 17 and 18 years old did not enter a plea and will reappear on December 5.

Police prosecution had requested to have the defendants accused of bashing an 18-year-old shopkeeper and robbing Tex Mart Betela on Sunday, to be remanded into custody.

But lack of evidence prompted Justice of the Peace John Whitta to bail the duo with strict conditions.

The conditions include a 24 hour curfew to resident with his mother, not to make contact of any kind, verbally, physically or electronically, with the complainant or the co-offender and not to leave Rarotonga without the approval of the court. One of the defendants was asked to surrender his passport.

Defence lawyer Mark Short said the bail was granted on the ground that the families of his clients accepted the conditions imposed on them.

Short also said there was no disclosure on the matter and the court had given the police two weeks to collate all information and hand it to the defence council.

In the incident report, police said the shopkeeper was punched several times by one of the defendants who seized a cash till and fled the scene with an accomplice waiting on a motorbike. 

The first suspect was arrested on Monday evening followed by the second one a day later. 

The police commissioner is appalled by the behaviour of two “teen suspects” who allegedly beat up an 18-year-old worker at the Tex Mart Betela shop in Arorangi on Sunday night.

The two suspects were arrested in connection with the alleged bashing and robbery.

Police commissioner Maara Tetava described the crime as “appalling, unforgivable, and totally unacceptable”

Anakin Tipokoroa was the shopkeeper on duty that Sunday night. The 18-year-old student of Tereora College, could not sit for his exam on Monday due to the injuries he suffered from the beating.

In the incident report, police said the shopkeeper was punched several times and a male offender seized a cash till and fled the scene with an accomplice, who was waiting on a motorbike. 

The first suspect was arrested on Monday evening and the second one early Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Tetava praised the swift work of police detectives, investigating the violent incident.

He also acknowledged all those who assisted in providing police with information that led to the arrests.

“Our hearts go out to the victim and his family. We will do what we can to help where necessary,” Tetava said.

The commissioner reassured the community that police would not tolerate these kind of criminal activities in the Cook Islands.

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