During my world travels I have eaten quite a few ordinary things and have just smiled and kept chewing.

I've even tried popular local things - such as betelnut in the Solomon Islands - that have proven to be truly awful.

Again, I've smiled through the contortions of my mouth as it revolts against what I am forcing it to endure.

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But I am not smiling when I say few things have left a really foul taste in my mouth more than the appalling treatment of former NZ First and independent MP Brendan Horan.

Since 2012 Horan has been under a public cloud after he was accused of taking money from his dying mother's bank account.

For most people that would be a very nasty allegation to face but, for Horan, who was devoted to his mum, it was particularly galling.

He vehemently denied the accusations.

Horan was a newly elected NZ First MP and was popular around our area.

In my opinion, he should have been able to expect support from his then leader Winston Peters because the allegations were not proven.

Instead, Peters sacked him from NZ First.

Being a fighter, Horan refused to go quietly and stayed on in Parliament as an independent MP.

Many thought he should go but I, because they were still only accusations, thought good on him for standing up for himself. And whatever happened to the basic right everyone has, which is being innocent until proven guilty?

I met Horan on the 2010 council campaign trail and we have remained on good terms. If we meet on the street, or at a surf-lifesaving event we shake hands and have a chat.

He is amiable and is devoted to his family.

He has also been through just over three years of hell that has destroyed his political career and job opportunities.

In 2012 he told me he didn't do anything wrong. I have never seen any evidence produced that - even for a moment - made me not believe him.

It seems after more than three years of investigating the case, neither have the police.

They say there is no evidence to support any charges against Horan.

As I stated earlier - I have been left with a very bad taste over the whole matter.

I can only imagine how Horan feels - a victim of political expedience.

But Horan can stand proud as he has shown real mana and fought the good fight.

Should he have had to, is a question that in my opinion needs to be answered by those responsible for an appalling execution without trial.

- Richard@richardmoore.com

- Richard Moore is an award-winning Western Bay journalist and photographer.