Man will fight case 'to end'

By Sandra Conchie

A prominent Tauranga professional accused of serious assault on a child whose identity cannot be revealed will be "defending the allegations to the bitter end", his lawyer told a court.

Paul Mabey QC made the submission to Tauranga Community Magistrate Lesley Jensen yesterday during his successful bid to have the suppression orders in relation to non-publication of his client's name and occupation, imposed on December 6, continued.

Police allege the boy, aged under 12, was assaulted in Mount Maunganui last month.

A source told this newspaper the boy claims he was left with red marks around his neck after he was dragged by the neck up some stairs, and hospitalised for two days with delayed concussion after he alleges his head was slammed on to a wooden table and a concrete floor in a garage.

Mr Mabey said the suppression orders had been imposed under Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Act to protect the child complainant to ensure his identity was not revealed. The orders were not opposed by police, he said.

Mr Mabey said his client's occupation should remain suppressed, otherwise every male in town who worked in the same profession was likely come under suspicion.

Mr Mabey argued the allegations were about a private matter between his client and the complainant and there was "no genuine public interest in this case".

But the Bay of Plenty Times argued that there was significant public interest in this case and on the grounds of open justice the suppression orders should be lifted.

Mrs Jensen said she was satisfied the suppression orders should continue at this stage.

The defendant, whose attendance at court yesterday was excused, was further remanded on bail to appear in Tauranga District Court in early February for a case review hearing.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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