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Ruatoria District Court news

A Ruatoria woman admitted assaulting her mother during an argument about nappies.

The embarrassment of appearing in court on such a matter would be penalty in itself, Judge Warren Cathcart said in Ruatoria District Court.

Nonetheless, Karanga Te Iwi Waiariki, 20, unemployed, would also have to do 70 hours community work.

The assault involved Waiariki holding her mother’s head down for about 30 seconds and punching her once in the eye. She pleaded guilty.

The judge noted Waiariki was convicted last August of a similar charge.


HOGAN Rex Ratahi, 48, pleaded not guilty to injuring with intent to injure. He was remanded on bail for a case review hearing on March 23.

He also faces a charge of wilful damage (of windows), which he has admitted.


PARENTING an autistic child was a significant background factor in a man’s domestic offending but obviously did not excuse it, counsel Mark Sceats said.

But his client Anthony Aporo Hooper needed help to develop skills to cope with the ongoing situation — especially at times when he was frustrated and tired from work.

Judge Cathcart agreed, saying it was “bizarre” Hooper would assault the very person who was attending to their child. While he continued to behave that way, he added to the woman’s burden.

It was his third assault against the woman. If he did it again, he would be jailed.

The judge sentenced Hooper to nine months supervision and 100 hours community work.


WAIPIRO Bay woman Teresa Lynne Rasmussen, 38, teacher, admitted possessing methamphetamine and a pipe for the use of the drug but not guilty to possessing cannabis and an implement for that drug.

She also denied breaching community work.

On the not guilty matters she was remanded on bail for a case review hearing on March 20. On the guilty matters she was remanded until March 23.


CHARGED with cultivating cannabis, unlawfully carrying a firearm and possession of cannabis seed, Hombre Fraser Huata pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.

He was remanded on bail for a case review hearing on June 29.


INTERIM name suppression was extended for an East Coast man charged with cultivating and possessing cannabis.

His lawyer Vicki Thorpe said more time was needed to investigate matters raised in disclosure.

The man was remanded on bail to appear again in the court on March 23, when he will have to enter pleas. The interim suppression order will be revisited then.


HAMANA Waka Brown, 50, pleaded not guilty to possession of an offensive weapon. He was remanded on bail for a judge-alone trial in the Ruatoria court on March 23.


PETER Francis Jessop denied possessing cannabis for supply. He elected trial by jury and was further remanded on bail for a case review hearing on June 29.


HICKS Bay farmer Graham Michael Smith, 74, was charged with burglary (of a locked shed at Ruatoria). He was remanded on bail without plea until March 23.

A woman’s failure to take up an opportunity for diversion could jeopardise her newfound employment, the court heard.

Her employer might not retain her, given she would now have two convictions for dishonesty offending.

Cindy Fay Pereira would not be offered a second chance to avoid conviction, which was understandable, Judge Cathcart said.

Police had not been able to locate Pereira and she had breached her bail three times.

Pereira pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining by deception and three breaches of bail. She was ordered to do 60 hours community work and to pay two complainants about $130 each in reparation for the deception matters.

Pereira advertised shoes for sale online, received payment from two people, but did not supply them.


A WAIPIRO Bay man who slashed tyres on a police vehicle said he regretted it immediately and would personally apologise to the officer if he saw him again.

Raani Awarau, 23, fencer, pleaded guilty to two counts of wilful damage, for which he was ordered to pay reparation — $330 for the tyres and $196 in relation to a boat.

He was ordered to do 90 hours community work.

Judge Cathcart refused to impose a fine. Given police property was damaged, there had to be a more punitive sentence.


JASON Huriwai, 45, pleaded guilty to threatening language and wilful damage. He was convicted, ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within the next nine months, and directed to pay $200 reparation for the damage.

Counsel Vicki Thorpe said the charges were symptomatic of mounting tensions among a group of people who had been living in close proximity.


WHARE Rex Gerrard, 47, pleaded guilty to wilful damage. He was remanded on bail for sentence on March 23.


TU Maurirere Matu Rimitiriu Raihania, 26, admitted driving with excess breath-alcohol (464mcg). He received 60 hours community work and was disqualified from driving for six months. He is not to take ownership of a vehicle for the next 12 months.


A DRINK-driver convicted for the seventh time was spared a prison term.

Waka Tupuritia Kanohi Waikari pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol for the third or subsequent time.

Judge Cathcart said such recidivism normally resulted in a prison term but Waikari’s two most recent previous offences were in 2005 and the others dated back to 1986.

Waikari was sentenced to 200 hours community work, with nine months supervision, and disqualified from driving for a year and a day.


JAMES Hemi Biddle, 31, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol (747mcg) for the third or subsequent time, his third.

He also admitted breaching court release conditions.

He was sentenced to three months community detention, was disqualified for a year and a day, and will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.


SUMAN Nelson Ratahi, 22, pleaded guilty to driving without a licence. He was convicted and discharged. The court heard Ratahi had since sat his licence test but was unsuccessful.


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