Prominent man on sex, violence charges

A prominent Northlander is on trial for a number of sex and violence charges spanning more than two decades.

The 53-year-old, who has name suppression, has denied 24 charges of assault with a weapon, four of male assaults female, four of assault with intent to injure, three of threatening to kill, three of sexual violation by rape, two of arson and two of using a document for pecuniary advantage.

Further charges include: Two each of assaulting a child below the age of 14, assault, discharging a firearm with intent and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Single charges i nclude attempted arson, perjury, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

A three-week trial started before Judge Duncan Harvey in the Whangarei District Court on Monday.

Grant Anson, for the Crown, told the jury of seven men and five women that the alleged offences happened between 1987 and 2009 in areas around the Far North and Kaipara.

He said the defendant achieved what he wanted through his display of violence and loss of temper.

Mr Anson alleged that the man burnt down his matrimonial home to gain public sympathy.

The defendant used a number of weapons including a belt, shovel and hose pipe to assault his victims, the Crown alleged.

Defence lawyer John Moroney said the allegations against his client were "contrived" to get money from him.

He said there were never any complaints in the many years the defendant knew the woman.

Judge Harvey declined the defendant bail for the duration of the trial to the address proposed but would revisit the issue if another address was approved by the Crown.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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