One justice system for the luvvies and sportspeople, and another law for the rest of us

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.

Unbelievable situation, cost a woman her job, went psycho with a weapon…and now whinging about her “reputation” and wanting name suppression.

However, by the time the defendant appeared in the Manukau District Court in July charged with possession of an offensive weapon that showed an intent to instil the fear of violence, none of that reparation had been paid.

A guilty plea was entered but a sentencing date was put off several times, and was nearly derailed when the matter came up again on Thursday morning.

The woman applied for a discharge without conviction, with her lawyer arguing a conviction and its subsequent publicity would be a “stain” on her reputation and would prevent her travelling for business matters, something she did frequently.

The defendant had volunteered her time and money to various local charities and had undergone counselling to better deal with stress, the court was told. She had also met with the victim in a restorative justice conference, though this had not gone well after the victim refused to accept the defendant’s apology.

Although Judge Malosi agreed a discharge would be appropriate, noting the defendant had acted out of character and was unlikely to appear before the courts again, she queried the defendant’s remorse, after a series of social media postings were presented to the court.

It showed the defendant claiming she was innocent and calling the victim a “shameless b****”. She had also taken photos of the inside of the courtroom during one of her appearances, something that is strictly forbidden by the courts unless an application had been made by accredited media.

The “continued abuse” and “taunting” by the defendant had lifted the gravity of her offending, Judge Malosi said.

Despite the woman applying for permanent name suppression, Judge Malosi pointed out she had effectively outed herself on social media by writing about the criminal proceedings and employment decision.

This is NOT a case for continued name suppression.

She would have been more believable if she had claims she suffered from CBS.

I bet if I smashed a desk of an employee with a hammer I would have no chance at either name suppression, or discharge without conviction.

 

– Fairfax


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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