This judge gets it

Name suppression continues to be contentious, but increasingly judges are understanding the importance of not caving to defence counsel who claim name suppression for their ratbag clients on spurious grounds.

In the case of the creepy bloke from the mosque, the judge isn’t putting up with nonsense.

A Wellington man who indecently assaulted two teenage boys while they slept in a Palmerston North mosque will fight to keep his name secret after a judge declined to give him name suppression.

The 31-year-old was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday to eight months’ home detention for two counts of indecent assault.

The man was given permission to stay at the Palmerston North Islamic Centre in January last year, at the same time a camp was being held there.

He slept in the prayer room, along with a group of young boys.

During the night one boy woke up to find the man groping him.

He tried to stop the man, but he continued to try to touch the boy.

After that, another teenager woke up to find the man groping him.

The two boys reported the incident, and the man told police it did not happen.

He was found guilty of the two offences at a trial earlier this year, and his interim name suppression was to expire yesterday.

But the creeps lawyer is appealing.

Defence lawyer Steve Winter said the man’s mental state and his parents’ health were proof that he should be given permanent name suppression.

The man suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, had self-harmed, and had suicidal episodes. Psychologist reports said the man had these issues before the offending.

Crown prosecutor Erin FitzHerbert said she had no issue with a permanent name suppression order.

Judge Les Atkins said he had a problem with granting name suppression.

While he had considered the health of the man and his parents, he said other factors were at play.

“There is an element, not only of public shaming in matters of this kind, but of public warning.

“The youth of these victims is such that this should be kept in the mind of people.”

The judge is being sensible. There is no valid reason for this creep to continue to hide behind his victims.

The creep reckons he has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, had self-harmed, and had suicidal episodes. Well diddums…how about the kids he molested?

Name him and shame him…good muslim man that he is.


– Fairfax

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