Sexual abuse victims fail in their final attempt to overturn suppression

Two sisters who overturned their own name suppression in a bid to have the identity of their attacker known have failed in their final attempt to have the scumbag outed.

The New Zealand justice system is “stacked against” sexual assault victims, say two sisters disappointed by a judge’s decision not to quash name suppression for a man who sexually abused them 40 years ago.

Christchurch sisters Karen Beaumont and Anne-Marie Forsyth launched landmark legal action to try to expose the identity of a man who sexually abused them when they were aged between 10 and 14 in the 1970s.

After a judicial review at the High Court in Christchurch, Justice Cameron Mander rejected their bid in a decision released last month.

Today Ms Beaumont and Ms Forsyth have spoken for the first time about their “disappointment in the system to uphold justice and protect potential future sexual assault victims”.

“No one knows what goes on in the shadows,” said Ms Beaumont.

“That’s the whole point and why name suppression is so very wrong.”

Name suppression has improved but there are still bad examples, and this is one of them. Name suppression in this case was to protect the victims…except the victims have now revealed themselves and so no longer need the protection.

The New Zealand justice system is “stacked against” sexual assault victims, say two sisters disappointed by a judge’s decision not to quash name suppression for a man who sexually abused them 40 years ago.

Christchurch sisters Karen Beaumont and Anne-Marie Forsyth launched landmark legal action to try to expose the identity of a man who sexually abused them when they were aged between 10 and 14 in the 1970s.

After a judicial review at the High Court in Christchurch, Justice Cameron Mander rejected their bid in a decision released last month.

Today Ms Beaumont and Ms Forsyth have spoken for the first time about their “disappointment in the system to uphold justice and protect potential future sexual assault victims”.

“No one knows what goes on in the shadows,” said Ms Beaumont.

“That’s the whole point and why name suppression is so very wrong.”

It has been two decades since the man, known in court only as ‘A’, was convicted and the judge said publication of his name now would likely cause him “extreme hardship”.

Publication of his name after such a long period would be “quite out of the ordinary”, Justice Mander concluded.

The sisters believe the public has a right to know the man’s identity.

“The judge treated this like some private dispute between him and us,” said Ms Forsyth.

“But we weren’t doing this for our benefit. The public needs far more awareness of how these manipulative predators get away with this activity.”

The judge is wrong. This man did not request name suppression, it was automatic because of the nature of the offences…the law is like this so victims can be protected and rightly so. However the judge has now decided to protect the sex offender by taking sympathy with him and how it would be terrible to name him.

There seems to be no thought for the victims yet again.

 

– NZ Herald

 


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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.

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