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Assault charge brings $350 fine for visitor

Friday January 04, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

A visitor to Rarotonga charged with common assault was received a $350 fine when he appeared before Justice of Peace John Whitta at the Cook Islands High Court yesterday.


Ponifasio Folau who is visiting the island on holiday, was represented by defence counsel Mark Short.

Police Prosecutor sergeant Fairoa Tararo said the assault took place on Saturday, December 29, 2018 around 10pm. The defendant was aged 38 and had no previous convictions.

He acknowledged Folau’s early guilty plea.

Defence counsel Mark Short said Folau had already apologised to the complainant and the complainant, in a letter provided to the court, stated that he understood Folau was intoxicated as his father had just passed away. He requested that the charges be withdrawn.

Short requested for a discharge in the matter without conviction, as the victim had not suffered any major injuries.

However, JP Whitta denied Short’s request and sentenced Folau to a $350 fine and $50 court fee.

In another assault matter, Aisake Fimone, represented by defence lawyer Norman George, requested for an adjournment without entering a plea.

Fimone appeared before the court on one count of assault on a female and one count of common assault.

George, who requested a bail application, said Fimone and his partner were in a stable relationship. However, Police prosecutor Tararo objected to bail, stating that Fimone was a risk to both the complainant and the assault victim.

George responded that the two victims involved in the matter had been drunk at the time of the incident. He added that the two people who had caused the commotion were not present in court.

JP Whitta allowed Fimone’s bail application on the condition he not consume alcohol, enter any liquor shop or purchase liquor. He was also ordered not to interfere or communicate with the complainants and to surrender his passport.

The matter was adjourned to February 21, 2019.

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