Entertainer granted permanent name suppression

By Jimmy Ellingham

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A prominent New Zealand entertainer who assaulted his ex-partner has been granted permanent name suppression and a discharge without conviction.

The man appeared for sentence in the Auckland District Court today on one charge of assault, which he promptly admitted last year.

During an argument with his ex-girlfriend the man kicked her in the thigh and struck her arm, leaving her with minor bruising.

Judge Philip Recordon said he wasn't convinced that naming the man would result in extreme hardship for him, but other grounds of his lawyer Jenny Verry's application were stronger.

"In my view publication of your name and details would cause undue hardship to the victim of the offence," the judge said.

Ms Verry also said publicity would negatively effect others associated with the entertainer.

APNZ and police opposed suppression, citing the interests of open justice.

Judge Recordon agreed with Ms Verry that the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the offence and granted the man a discharge.

"[Since] you've been before the court, there's no reference to any subsequent offending or callout, and you've led a life which is one of contribution to society and you have accepted responsibility and accountability and haven't tried to make excuses," the judge told the man.

"No family violence is ever acceptable ... If there had to be a category this would be in the lower end."

The judge said it would make a "nonsense" of the discharge if suppression wasn't also granted.

The court heard the man and his ex-girlfriend were still friends. The ex-girlfriend supported the man's discharge and suppression applications.

"I do think, from the start, that the case is a private matter," the ex said.

Since the incident the man had successfully participated in an anti-violence programme and paid a donation to charity.

Outside court the man hugged Ms Verry, but didn't want to talk to APNZ.

"All good brother. Next time," he said.

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