Name Suppression

Another “Rolf Harris” is hiding behind name suppression while his victims want sunlight

First, the story

Two Christchurch women sexually abused as young girls have won a battle to have their own name suppression lifted.

They did it so they could expose their abuser and hoped it would be a test case, but it is a hollow victory because his identity is still protected.

Twenty years after the man who sexually abused Karen Beaumont and Anne-Marie Forsyth was convicted, they are still fighting for justice.

Their bid for all name suppression to be lifted was heard a fortnight ago in the Christchurch District Court.

Today the judge removed the sisters’ name suppression, but not his.

“That’s gutting, absolutely gutting,” says Ms Beaumont.

By law their attacker still gets name suppression by virtue of the fact that identifying him might identify them, even though as of 5pm today they were legally allowed to go public.

“They are hoping to be a test case, to make it easier for others, but what it seems to be proving is just how difficult it is and will continue to be unless there’s some changes to the law,” says lawyer Nikki Pender.

They will now seek judicial review of his suppression order, meaning more court hearings, more stress and more money.

The amazing issue here is that the court really wants to help, but it clearly has its hands tied.  Ergo:  The law needs changing:

Read more »

Teachers Council still erring on the side of secrecy

A scumbag teacher was sentenced to a 3 year fail term today.  I decided to check if he was deregistered.

213112

A little more searching found the PDF of the decision to deregister him about 6 weeks ago.

Compare that to the wealth of information available from the media

via Stuff

via Stuff

The victims were nine girls aged between eight and 12.

Harter was a part-time drama and music teacher at Havelock North Primary School from October 2012 until June this year.

He was teaching music, mathematics and drama from his home until his arrest after two of his victims informed their parents of his offending in late July.

Crown lawyer Rebecca Guthrie said Harter’s offending was “repetitive and predatory” against nine vulnerable victims and the lasting effects may not be known for some time.

Harter’s lawyer Tony Snell said Harter accepted he would get a prison sentence.

Snell said Harter was a “high achiever” who had suffered depression his whole life.

He had been deeply affected by the death of his ex-wife in the Carterton hot ballon tragedy in 2012.

That’s right. ¬†The explanation¬†for him fiddling with young girls’ breasts and bottoms is because he lost his wife.

Read more »

Victim of “New Zealand’s Rolf Harris” is not giving up

Name suppression for the “high profile New Zealander” that gave David Cunliffe a bottle of wine and published a photo of themselves on his Facebook page is still in place. ¬†The victim has been, and continues to fight for suppression to be lifted.

The offence took place in Louise Hemsley’s home in November 2011.

“It’s like an invasion isn’t it, it’s an invasion of your privacy, he invaded my space and took advantage,‚Äô‚Äô Hemsley told TVNZ.

The man responsible was ‚Äė‚Äėa person I suppose you would look up to; he‚Äôs had a brilliant career‚Äô‚Äô.

The man was originally charged with indecent assault, but it was downgraded to indecent act, a charge he agreed to plead guilty to.

He was convicted and ordered to pay compensation, but immediately lodged an appeal, eventually winning a discharge without conviction and final name suppression.

It is this slimy process that has him more or less “unknown” to the public, but in reality the whispers have gone around the country enough times now for most people to be aware of the offender’s identity. ¬† Read more »

Back in the real world…

…where people who shoot photos in public places of clothed women’s torsos are named, shamed and have their picture in the paper, we now have another travesty of name suppression

A man who admitted having and sharing child pornography has won permanent name suppression in the High Court, because his wife has a heart condition.

In June, the man was sentenced in the Auckland District Court to 10 months’ home detention for exporting objectionable material and possessing pictures, many of which showed men raping children.

When the court refused to grant name suppression the man’s lawyer appealed, saying his client’s wife had a heart condition and her heart could stop under stress if he is named.

Far be it from me to say what could or could not happen. ¬†But I would imagine that his wife’s heart condition is already pretty much stressed by her husband being a child pornographer and having a six year old daughter living in the house with them. ¬† Read more »

Good news: name suppression lifted. Bad news: another teacher

A former part-time music and drama teacher at Havelock North Primary School has been charged with indecent assault.

Havelock North Primary School Board said in a statement that it was shocked by news that Charles Harter, had been charged with indecent assault.

The school has been working closely with NZ Police to assist in an investigation but until
today has been hampered by name suppression of the accused, the statement said.

“As a Board, we applied to have name suppression lifted as it was hampering our ability to communicate with our school family. We are pleased this was successful,” Board Chair Rachel Cornwall said.

“We are a small school in a tight-knit community. We have been working closely with
police and other agencies to put in place measures to support our pupils, parents
and staff. They are our first priority.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed that name suppression had been lifted at the request of the school board.

Good on the board! ¬† Now other victims can come forward. ¬† Read more »

New rule: any indecent act done on private property is legal

This is a bit of a head scratcher… how come the lawyer is even trying that one on?

A teacher accused of committing an indecent act in his classroom will argue the charge should be thrown out because the incident did not happen in a “public place”.

The man, whose name is suppressed, appeared in Auckland District Court this morning facing a charge of “wilfully doing an indecent act in a public place” in June last year.

His lawyer Richard Earwaker indicated he would argue that a classroom did not fit that criteria.

Judge Grant Fraser disagreed but said ultimately it would be a matter to be decided at judge-alone trial.

The defendant worked for more than a decade at the prestigious school where the alleged incident happened.

The school’s name remains suppressed.

That ¬†may be so, but the school no longer seeks suppression of its name or supports the man’s suppression. ¬†Good on them.

Let’s tick the boxes:

  • Teacher
  • Registered
  • Name suppression

…add to it: ¬†not taking responsibility for it and acting cute trying to get off the charge because a school isn’t a public place.

Good luck with that one.

Or maybe there is a clue there… ¬† Read more »

Rolf Harris segregated after fellow inmates put him on notice

It was always going to happen

Convicted paedophile Rolf Harris has been spat at and abused by fellow inmates at the prison where he is serving his sentence for sex offences.

The incident happened during a church service in the chapel at men’s prison HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire,¬†The Independent reported.

While the 84-year-old Australian was not physically hurt, the spit reportedly landed on another prisoner, which sparked a punch-up between the inmates, the Daily Mail reported.

A witness told The Sun “One prisoner called Rolf a dirty nonce and spat at him. All the others were jeering too, but the spit landed on the bloke next to Rolf, who went beserk.

“Rolf stood in a corner while the other prisoner was taken to a segregation unit. Then he just sat back down. He was shaken up, but didn’t let on.”

Prisoners said¬† it was an attack waiting to happen. “Rolf is a hate figure for many in prison. Attack him, you’re going to get some notoriety,” one inmate told The Sun.

“NZs Rolf Harris” won’t go to prison, but he is likely to face similar public rebuke if¬†name suppression is dropped. ¬†Sexual pests of any kind, especially those that target the young, are on the lowest rung in society. ¬†Even in prison.

The mere thought that David Cunliffe had a happy lunch with “Rolf”, accepting a gift of wine and having his photo taken and plastered on “Rolf”‘s Facebook page is still not sitting well with me.

People like that should not be promoted and elevated in society.

 

– Independent, Daily Mail, The Sun via Stuff

“Jonathan Eaton, the lawyer for [NZs Rolf Harris] in this case, did not return calls”

Lynley Bilbey joins the pack of people reporting on the increasing pressure for the Sex Pest to be named

The victim of an indecent act is outraged her attacker gets a say in whether she can reveal her identity.

The woman is making a legal bid to lift her name suppression to tell her story without fear of breaking the law.

But the man who attacked her has a legal right to challenge her bid and a hearing date has been set.

The woman has told supporters she is traumatised and feels she is being revictimised, says Ruth Money of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, who is supporting the woman and her family in trying to overturn the suppression.

“Even [the attacker] to be a party to the proceedings doesn’t make any common sense let alone any legal.

“They just shouldn’t have any rights over these ladies. It’s ridiculous.

“There’s no respect for survivors in this system whatsoever.”

The prominent New Zealander may as well give up now. ¬†The public pressure is so immense, and the application of name suppression in this case so poorly justified, that a decision will go against him eventually. ¬† Read more »

They took his teacher registration away, but still we may not know his name

Another day, another scumbag teacher gets the protection of name suppression.

A teacher who physically abused his students and told them they were ugly and dumb has been censured and had his teacher’s registration cancelled by the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.

In a decision released over the weekend the defendant admitted the charges of serious misconduct and agreed to the consequences which also included paying a 50 per cent contribution towards the investigation and prosecution costs.

The man, whose name and the name of the school he taught at is suppressed, was a provisionally registered assistant teacher who taught a year nine science class.

Between 2011 and 2012 he admitted physically assaulting several students by kicking, punching, holding them down on the ground and grabbing them by the scruff of the neck or throwing books and rulers at them.

…and he lost his registration in 2014. ¬†That’s way.. too.. slow. ¬†No wonder bad teachers get to maraud along for so long. ¬†The process of complaint through to investigation, stand-down and censure should be very much tighter. ¬† Read more »

Rodney Hide on the “Predator hiding in plain sight”

Rodney too, is unhappy that our name suppression laws are protecting the guilty

HOS amusing image to promote Rodney's column

HOS amusing image to promote Rodney’s column

The Labour leader has met the sex predator. “If I had known of the suggestion [that the man was a sex predator hiding behind name suppression], no such meeting would have taken place.” I am sure that’s true.

The meeting highlights two key points. First, there’s no shaming without naming. The offender remains brazen and without remorse. He happily and openly met the Leader of the Opposition who had just loudly and boldly spoken out against sexual violence.

Spot on Rodney. ¬†It churns my stomach. ¬† He continues to act like it was all a one-off mistake, a misunderstanding. ¬†The fact we can explain it is but part of a pattern of such behaviour isn’t possible, because… name suppression.

You think he would be too ashamed. But no. Name suppression thwarts justice because the offender has never had to own up. He can carry on like nothing happened. He can have a joke and a laugh with the leader of the Labour Party exactly as if he had never performed an indecent act on a woman in her own home. Oh that his victim could just share a joke, have a laugh, or meet the leader of the Labour Party.

Second, the meeting highlights the danger to which name suppression exposes women.

The sex predator’s prominence is such that Cunliffe was attracted to meet him. Knowing the sex pest’s background and history it’s easy to see why. We are all attracted to and flattered by the attention of “prominent” men.

That’s just fine. ¬†The damage there is just some political egg on his face. ¬† Read more »