Diego Leonardo Chavez

Good on ya Paul Henry

Paul Henry isn’t interested in restorative justice, and to be frank neither am I which will become apparent in coming days.

Broadcaster Paul Henry says he is “not even remotely interested” in having a restorative justice session with the man who assaulted him at an out-of-control protest.

On Wednesday morning Judge David Sharp found Diego Leonardo Chavez guilty of lunging and spitting at Henry outside SkyCity earlier this year.

Chavez’s lawyer Luke Wilson initially said the parties were legally required to look into having a restorative justice session, but later said Chavez had no interest in restorative justice either.

When approached for comment after the verdict when the restorative justice meeting was still a possibility, Henry said he had nothing to say to Chavez.

“I’m getting on with my life so he can get on with his life, with a conviction,” Henry said.

Chavez had been waiting nearly two months for the verdict, after pleading not guilty.

Judge Sharp had reserved his decision after a trial at the Auckland District Court in October.

There, Henry gave evidence of what he called a “vile” act by one of the protesters he’d been accosted by as he lunched at SkyCity earlier this year.

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Paul Henry assault accused has zero contrition and may get off

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…[T]he court heard from Mr Henry who said he was suddenly confronted by a screaming mob of semi-deranged people as he was on the way to attend a charity lunch.

“It was very threatening, extraordinarily threatening,” he said.

“That’s the huge issue for me. It was very aggressive. A couple of them were screaming at me right in my face, literally just standing there right in my face. So the options were reducing and it felt like it was becoming more and more inflamed.”

Henry said he could not pick out exactly what was being said to him but thought he heard a chant of “mouthpiece of the rich”.

Then as he was shepherded away, he was allegedly attacked.

“From behind, someone spat on me and I was pushed. For me that was the final straw. People have a right to protest and expression is very important and should be upheld. But this was way beyond where people should go,” Henry said.

“The thing I mostly remember was being spat on, which is just such a vile thing to do.”

He told the court he did not want to show the impact the incident had on him. Read more »

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