Now here is a lawyer earning his keep


Antony de Malmanche’s lawyer has instigated a “trial by media” campaign for his client, and the NZ Herald’s Anna Leask is happy to help out rehabilitate Antony’s public image:

Locked in a small concrete cell with 27 other men, 24 hours a day, with no direct sunlight, showering with a bucket and relying on the kindness of police for the necessities of life is not how Antony de Malmanche imagined his first trip to Bali.

When the 52-year-old left his Wanganui flat, he was on the trip of a lifetime. Life had been cruel to him over the years, and this was his chance at real happiness. He had met a woman on the internet and thought he had found his soulmate. He never imagined that following his heart would land him in a dingy Indonesian jail accused of trying to smuggle 1.7kg of methamphetamine into the country and facing the death penalty.

De Malmanche has limited access to the phone at the Denpasar police station, so his lawyer, Craig Tuck, agreed to act as an intermediary and share details of his client’s daily life.

What a good man that Craig Tuck is.  /sarc

“Tony has given me permission to share some personal circumstances as they are important to the context of the defence and how we position various matters before trial,” Mr Tuck said.

“Tony was one of the children of Lake Alice [Hospital, near Bulls, and spent] three and a half years in a psychiatric institution as a child and young person. He suffers from long-term depression and has had a head injury which makes him slow to process information.”

The head injury – along with back and neck injuries – came when de Malmanche was struck by a falling branch while working as a tree feller in 2002. Two years later, his 7-year-old son, Andre, drowned.

“He is still in shock of the loss of his son,” Mr Tuck said.

“By his own admission he is simple and naive. He had never travelled overseas before, he was overwhelmed and out of his depth and hoping to meet the dream woman.

“Tony is a vulnerable person, probably an ideal target – middle-aged and white with a New Zealand passport.”

Tony was caught smuggling 1.7kg of meth.

The fact he’s a dick is beyond dispute.

But you have to admire Mr Tuck and the NZ Herald getting together to try and sell us a hard luck story.

“Tony is overwhelmed by the support and love shown,” Mr Tuck said.

“He is confused and scared but knows that some of New Zealand is with him.”

I don’t wish Tony any additional grief, but I’m not going to feel sorry for him.  He had enough warnings not to do what he did, and now he’s in a spot where he has to own it, even if his lawyer is trying to make it look like an accident.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.