Court orders psychiatric assessment

Tuesday March 05, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Court orders psychiatric assessment

The Cook Islands Police prosecutors have been ordered by the Cook Islands High Court to obtain a psychiatric evaluation for Teremoana Saddler.

 Saddler who is charged for damage of property by fire appeared before Justice of Peace Bernice Manarangi on Thursday. The order was made by the Court after defence counsel Norman George advised that the background of the matter was sad and involved a series of events that led the defendant to want to commit suicide.

However, he said police were oblivious to the facts of the matter and he would need further discussion with them.

“I am asking the court for police to refer the matter to Dr Fariu for a psychiatric view. I am doing this for nothing. He (Saddler) is an untouchable case, he has been in and out of prison, but the state needs to do remedial work,” George said.

He asked if police could arrange for psychiatric assessment and said whether the defendant could enter a plea was still in question. Police prosecutor senior sergeant Tuaine Manavaroa said they would look into it.

Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi adjourned the matter to April 18 and ordered the police to sort out arrangements for the psychiatric assessment.

In another case, a man who was charged for assaulting a woman was granted name suppression in the Cook Islands High Court on Thursday.

The defendant appeared before JP Manarangi. Defence counsel Norman George said being a domestic matter, the defendant and the victim reconciled quickly.

He said the complainant wrote a letter for the High Court and signed it, requesting that the charge be withdrawn.

George said they were now in discussions with the police. In seeking name suppression, George said the defendant had no previous court matters and had a reputation.

Police did not object and JP Manarangi granted the name suppression and adjourned the matter to March 23.

JP Manarangi also set a defendant hearing for Nigel Hoeflich last week. Hoeflich appeared before the court and entered a not guilty plea on three charges.

He is charged with threatening to kill, common assault and resisting police. Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen informed JP Manarangi that upon the instruction of his client a not guilty plea was entered.

He said the trial on all three matters would take a day.

JP Manarangi adjourned the matter to May 28 where Hoeflich will appear before three Justices of Peace.

Last Thursday, defence counsel Mark Short also asked the court to adjourn a case against Tini Maruhi. Maruhi is charged with one count of sexual intercourse with a female without her consent. He also appeared before JP Manarangi. Short said he recently received disclosure and needed to go through these documents with his client.

“A lot of review needs to be done given the charge is very serious,” he said.

Given that the victim in the matter was no longer in Rarotonga, Short requested that the bail conditions which were mainly in regards to the victim no longer be imposed. JP Manarangi adjourned the matter to April 18 and stated that the bail conditions imposed for the protection of the victim were withdrawn.

However, she said bail conditions such as not to depart Rarotonga, not to purchase alcohol, and not to enter any liquor licenced premises were still in place.

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