The “Civil Servant” who wants to remain hidden got off his charges today, and now I get an inkling as to why he wanted to remain anonymous.
A high-profile public servant acquitted of assaulting his teenage son has been given permanent suppression of his name and occupation.
A Wellington District Court jury this afternoon found the man not guilty of one charge of assaulting his son in August 2008.
The Crown alleged the man dragged his son down Manners Mall in the central city and pushed him into his car, where he repeatedly punched him in the head because he stole $700 from his mother.
The teenager told police he had been assaulted eight months after the incident, but retracted his allegations last week under oath, saying he had made up the assault.
Crown prosecutor Paul Dacre said the boy’s initial statement had been correct and he had only changed it because he was intimidated by his father.
But defence lawyer Mike Antunovic said the jury should totally reject what the boy had said in his initial statement, as there was at least reasonable doubt that he was telling the truth.
The teenager had caused his parents much distress by regularly running away from home and getting into trouble, and the man’s sole focus was to get his son into the car to take him home.
Witnesses had mistaken the man removing his son’s bag, which had been bought with the stolen money, for the man hitting his son, Mr Antunovic said.
Judge Christopher Harding said the jury had to decide whether the man had lost his temper and deliberately hit his son, or whether he had used justifiable force for the purpose of corrective discipline.
Parents were justified in using reasonable force with their children to minimise harm or to prevent a criminal offence, he said in directions to the jury.
The Crown produced witnesses that says that this man smashed his son in the face with a fist repeatedly and he successfully uses Section 59 as a defence!!! The Judge said it, there it is in black and white.
No wonder he wants name suppression. This trial should be an outrage not for the fact that a top civil servant wants anonymity but for the fact of his job and the defence he has used.
It is an outrage that Wellington District commander Superintendent Pieri Munro has hidden behind name suppression after he was reported on more than two years ago. It is contemptible that a Judge would create the appearance of justice hidden and it is contemptible that a top Police Officer thinks that it is justifiable to suggest that punching his son in the face is justifiable force for the purpose of corrective discipline.
I support parents smacking their kids but this was a case of a late teen son being allegedly assaulted by his father, a top police officer. How on earth can a Judge direct a jury in such a manner.
It is cases like this that bring outrage and suspicious on the court case, not some blogger naming someone who would really rather prefer to be hidden. This case makes our Justice system appear to be utterly corrupted in favour of the establishment, in favour of Police, in favour of celebrity and in favour of fame.
If I have to go to jail for three months to show up this outrage then so be it.