Cook Islands police and probation officials got a stern warning about the risk of misleading the High Court last week.
They presented conflicting reports to Justice of the Peace, John Kenning, on the alleged assault of a child.
John Pepe, who is already serving a sentence for assault of a child, was facing charges of assault of a child and breaching community service.
A police report on the case stated Pepe had slapped his two-year old son on the legs and back and smashed items in their house with a bush knife.
He then threw the knife at a car his partner and children were trying to escape in.
But a supplementary report from probation stated the accused only slapped the boy on the hand.
Mr Kenning sought clarification and concluded the police report was the true account, and he warned both police and probation to make sure they share information on cases.
Pepe was convicted and sentenced to 12 months' probation and 6 months' community service to be served concurrently with a current sentence of 18 months' probation.