The media are the fourth estate, supposed to hold the powerful to account, but when they transgress they are all about privacy and upset and hide behind name suppression.
An Auckland television boss smashed a subordinate’s glass desk to smithereens with a hammer before unlawfully firing the woman and “taunting” her on social media.
The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon with intent to menace but was discharged without conviction in the Manukau District Court on Thursday.
Her name suppression was also lifted, however, an appeal filed by the woman’s lawyer prevents the publication of her name in the meantime.
According to a summary of facts, the woman had become enraged with one of her colleagues after she travelled to London with family for a “much-needed break” and ordered she not be contacted.
However, the boss was repeatedly contacted at all hours of the day while on holiday and on her first day back at work at her offices in January 2014 brought a hammer to confront the woman who had been in charge while she was gone.
The defendant was said to have asked, “What are you still doing here?” before taking the mallet and smashing the glass desk the victim was sitting at. Photographs provided to sentencing Judge Ida Malosi showed the office in “a state of disarray”.
The victim wasn’t hurt but was shocked and distressed by the events and shortly after was fired by the company. The Employment Relations Authority later found she had been unjustifiably dismissed and ordered the victim be paid $11,000 for lost wages and the victim’s hurt and humiliation.
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