1 Feb 2016

Cooks family slams court's verdict in bashing case

2:09 pm on 1 February 2016

A bashing victim's family in the Cook Islands is questioning the country's justice sector after their son's attacker was given a suspended sentence.

Feleti Iona, who was last year dismissed without charge after pleading guilty to assault and fighting in public, was found guilty last week of assaulting a 19-year-old man outside a nightclub in Avarua.

The incident occured at the Rehab Nightclub on the night of 23 December.

Police said they weren't satisfied with the six-month suspended sentence, given Iona's violent history.

The mother of the victim, Michelle Paiti, said they were upset and Iona should be deported to Samoa.

Iona was banned for several weeks during last year's league season and received a 12-week ban during the rugby union season.

The Principal Immigration officer, Kairangi Samuela, said she was aware of Iona's court appearance and was sending a report to the government.

Rarotonga police station

Rarotonga police station Photo: RNZI / Mary Baines