Green guilty on two counts

By Simon Hendery

Rodney Green, right, leaving court this week with his lawyer, Paul Mabey QC. Photo / Paul Taylor
Rodney Green, right, leaving court this week with his lawyer, Paul Mabey QC. Photo / Paul Taylor

Well-known Napier businessman Rodney Green has been found guilty of two indecent assault charges.

The 65-year-old hotel owner faced a jury trial in the Napier District Court this week.

He was accused of indecently assaulting two women in the boozy aftermath of a charity boxing event in January 2012 at Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena, a venue sponsored by, and named after, Green.

Green's name had been suppressed but this was lifted when the jury yesterday delivered guilty verdicts on two of the six charges he faced.

The court had earlier heard that Green had been drinking when he and friends attended the Saturday night event.

Afterwards they travelled by Hummer limousine from Taradale to the Bluewater Hotel Green owns in Ahuriri.

Under cross-examination during the trial, Green said the group's behaviour "was extremely loud and continual" as they made the trip to Ahuriri.

He sat in the vehicle's front passenger seat while the group in the back sang along to music by Abba. One of the indecent assault charges he faced related to his face falling into the lap of a woman while she was sitting in the vehicle.

Green said the matter had been treated as a joke by all present at the time and the jury found him not guilty of the charge.

The other indecent assault charges related to a second woman, the driver of the vehicle.

The jury found him not guilty of charges alleging he touched her backside before the journey to Ahuriri, and that during the trip he put his hand between her legs and grabbed her hand while he performed an indecent act.

It found him guilty, however, on charges of touching the woman's breast and attempting to kiss her while she was driving.

Green told the court he tended to "make fun of most situations" when he had been drinking and that was the case on the night in question.

As well as sponsoring the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Green has also supported McLean Park's Rodney Green Centennial Event Centre.

A former butcher, Green's previous business interests have included Napier Discount Meats and the Medallion bacon and small-goods companies. He opened the Bluewater Hotel in 1999. Green was remanded on bail for sentencing next month. He declined to comment outside court.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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