Pond elders panel helps court wade through docket

Four elders helped the Nunavut court dispense justice in Pond Inlet this week

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

KIRSTEN MURPHY

POND INLET — Justice Robert Kilpatrick and a panel of four elders dealt with a long list of cases when the Nunavut Court of Justice sat in Pond Inlet on April 16-17.

Elder calls spousal abuser a sissy

A man who smashed his spouse’s face because she bought groceries instead of giving him money received two concurrent 90-day jail sentences after pleading guilty to two assault charges and one charge of failing to comply with the conditions of his undertaking.

Mark Alorut won’t start serving the sentences until July, to give him time to work and provide money for his family.

The court heard how Alorut was angry at Susie Kadloo for spending $190 of a $196 cheque on groceries on Oct. 23. Alorut ordered the woman to return two packs of cigarettes so he could have money to repay a debt.

When Kadloo did not return as quickly as he expected, Alorut tracked her down and ordered her home to clean up the groceries he’d thrown in protest of his wife’s spending. While picking up the groceries, Alorut threw a remote control at their young son, who was crying in the living room.

A fight ensued and Alorut grabbed Kadloo by the neck and hit her three times in the head. Two months later, Alorut hit Kadloo’s sister when she was trying to break up a fight between the couple.

Defence lawyer Andy Mahar said his client is remorseful about the assaults. The couple have reconciled and Kadloo wanted the charges dropped, the court heard.

Elder Annie Peterloosie told Alorut that he should start acting like a man, not a sissy.

Death threats lead to conditional sentence

A sober Joeli Nashook, 36, received a six-month conditional sentence for threatening to shoot two police officers and a cell guard.

Cpl. Grant MacDonald arrested Nashook for causing a disturbance at a Christmas dance on Dec. 28, 2001.

While in the back of the police vehicle, a drunken Nashook grew agitated, and started shouting obscenities, the court heard.

He told MacDonald: “I’m going to get my .303 and kill you, you motherfucker.” He also threatened to go after MacDonald’s family.

Nashook uttered similar threats to Const. John Tagak and a cell guard.

MacDonald tape-recorded Nashook’s two-hour rantings while in custody. The tape was not played in court.

Nashook pleaded guilty to three counts of uttering threats and has since apologized to the complainants.

Defence lawyer Andy Mahar said his client was severely “intoxicated and distraught” during the incident.

Nashook will spend the first 90 days of his sentence under house arrest. Anger management and alcohol treatment are part of his conditional sentence.

Problems with plastic

A 19-year-old man who used a stolen credit card to buy clothes, and then returned the items because they didn’t fit, received a one-year suspended sentence for break-and-enter and unlawful use of a credit card.

Bernie Kilukishak broke into a Pond Inlet residence on Jan. 18. He took two video-game cubes and a woman’s seal-skin purse. He rented the video games to a friend for $25 and burned the purse at the dump after retrieving a credit card.

Kilukishak bought a pair of hockey pants and cargo pants with the stolen card. He later returned the outerwear because the items were too big, said Crown counsel Judy Chan. Kilukishak handed the card to someone else after his shopping spree. That person is now under investigation.

A total of $1,264 was illegally charged to the card.

During his one-year probation period, Kilukishak must continue going to school and do 100 hours of community work.

Justice Kilpatrick told Kilukishak to apologize to the complainants in person.

Elisapee Ootoova, the presiding elder, scolded the youth for his bad judgment.

“Your mother did not raise you to be a thief. This is probably the first time you broke the law. Make it your last,” Ootoova said.

Medical escort a drug courier

Jeannie Maktar, 33, was fined $1,600 after pleading guilty to possessing 61 grams of marijuana.

Pond Inlet RCMP officers received a tip in mid-December that Maktar was returning to the community with drugs. The translator had been in Iqaluit as a medical escort for her nephew.

Before her arrest at the airport on Dec. 20, Maktar attempted to pass two grams of marijuana in tiny plastic bags to a friend. Police intercepted and seized the drugs.

Police also uncovered three separate packages of marijuana in Maktar’s luggage: a water bottle containing two condoms stuffed with 43 grams of pot; a gift-wrapped box containing 12 grams of cannabis; and a pair of ladies pink underwear with 3.5 grams of cannabis.

All four elders commended Maktar for being an otherwise upstanding community member. They called her involvement with drugs “unfortunate.”

“It’s up to you if you want to make changes,” said Paniloo Sangoya.

Maktar was planning to give most of the stash to someone who would then sell the goods, the court heard.

“She’s a user, not a dealer,” said defence lawyer Andy Mahar.

Maktar has eight months to pay the fine.

Dental therapist pleads out to sex charges

Just months after some Pond Inlet students complained to teachers about him, the community’s dental therapist, John Henderson, has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault.

Another two counts of sexual exploitation were stayed by the Crown.

“You’ll receive a lot of credit for entering a prompt guilty plea,” said Justice Robert Kilpatrick.

Henderson, who lived in community for almost 20 years, is still employed by the health department. He has been reassigned to clerical duties while working from home.

Following completion of a pre-sentence report, Henderson is set to appear in court Aug. 20 for sentencing.

Break the rules, due the time

A defiant Ezekiel Maktar was sentenced to six months in jail for refusing to pay a $1,315 restitution order in full.

The order stems from two previous property-related offences — one offence involving money stolen from Nasivvik school’s pop machine.

Maktar offered no explanation for flouting the order. He had a job at the time of his sentencing, but quit even though he owed a debt to the court. He was able to put only $300 toward the fines.

Airport drug bust nets $2,000 fine

Nathan Ootoova, 27, was fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to possessing 73 grams of marijuana with an estimated street value of $3,000.

Ootoova brought the drugs into Pond Inlet after accompanying his wife to Iqaluit for medical reasons.

The drugs were seized by the RCMP at the Pond Inlet airport. Ootoova, who is currently unemployed, has one year to pay the fine.

An expensive night on the town

Tommy Tongak was fined $600 after pleading guilty to breaching a court order not to drink. An intoxicated Tongak, 29, was apprehended by the RCMP on Oct. 3. Judge Kilpatrick gave Tongak four months to pay the $600 fine.

Kilpatrick called the incident, “a very expensive night out.”

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