A former top sports star who represented New Zealand internationally has escaped conviction for assaulting a woman and damaging her property over a three-day period.
The man appeared in New Plymouth District Court on Friday for sentencing on admitted charges of domestic assault and three counts of malicious wounding.
However, through his lawyer, Nathan Bourke, he applied for a clean chit.
Judge Gregory Gikaka granted the application as well as a request for permanent anonymity.
The court established that the man met the victim in the morning of February 17 this year.
He was following her down the stairs at the New Plymouth Beach car park when he grabbed the woman from behind in a “bear hug”. She could not escape from his hands.
While holding the woman, the man grabbed her phone and threw it away.
The next day, he went to the residence, where he was not allowed due to the conditions of his bail.
There, he filmed a surveillance camera in an attempt to conceal his entrance before damaging the woman’s property.
He used a black permanent marker to write derogatory comments about the woman on a photo frame that held significant sentimental value to her.
Then the next day, on February 19, he took the woman’s wallet and cut up her bank cards, before throwing the wallet in the bin.
In explaining his offense, the man told police he was “angry” at the time of the incident.
In court, Judge Gregory Hikaka accepted that the offense was minor, although it still met the criteria for an indictment.
He said the indirect and direct consequences of the conviction were disproportionate to the seriousness of the offence.
The victim supported the man’s application to be released without a criminal record, as well as his request for the final concealment of his name.
According to the judge, the man felt a “deep sense of shame” for the criminal.
He took a number of steps to solve the problems he was suffering from, but still had a way to go.
After upholding the pleas, Judge Hicaka ordered the man to pay $1,000 in restitution for emotional harm to the victim.
* This story originally appeared in New Zealand Herald.
Source link – https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/490747/former-sports-star-avoids-conviction-for-assaulting-woman-wilful-damage