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No evidence, two accused acquitted

Two women jointly charged with assault with intent to injure have been acquitted after the Crown offered no evidence.

Charlene Josephine Taingahue, 34, and Shannon Marie Roberta Poi, 41, were scheduled to stand trial by jury this week in Gisborne District Court.

But at a call through of cases yesterday morning, Crown counsel Amanda Bryant told the court police had been unsuccessful in numerous efforts to contact the complainant.

The Crown believed it was not in the interests of justice to continue with the charges so was offering no evidence, Ms Bryant said.

Judge Turitea Bolstad dismissed the charge, which related to an alleged incident on May 24 this year.

The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.

Poi had been remanded in custody on the charge for nearly six months. She was granted bail awaiting sentence on December 1 for less serious offences, to which she pleaded guilty – escaping custody, wilful damage, and two breaches of bail.

The wilful damage related to a vehicle on the same day as the alleged injuring incident. The complainants have the same surname.

The escaping charge arose out of an incident in which Poi fled from her bail address when police arrived to check her compliance.

Taingahue had been on bail to an Auckland address.

Arriving at court to attend the call through, Taingahue was initially denied entry by security staff due to Covid-19 protocols precluding entry to people who have recently been in places or venues where there has been positive cases of the virus.