Jared Savage

Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Police evidence against Tony Veitch released

Police who investigated allegations that Tony Veitch assaulted his ex-partner have released the evidence which led to seven charges being laid against the former broadcaster.

In her statement to police, available to media and the public for the first time, Dunne-Powell said she felt not one, but "two or three" kicks from Veitch to her lower back in the January 2006 assault.

"They forced an enormous scream out of me from the pain, and I heard a crack. I collapsed face down on the floor. I was absolutely sobbing. Screaming as well," Dunne-Powell told police.

Dunne-Powell said in her statement that Veitch assaulted her on "numerous" occasions. Charges were laid in respect to alleged attacks which she could place a date on.

Veitch pleaded guilty to one charge of injuring Kristin Dunne-Powell with reckless disregard in the Auckland District Court in April.

Six other charges of male assaults female were withdrawn when the Crown chose not to give evidence, after a plea bargain was reached with Veitch's defence lawyer Stuart Grieve QC.

He was sentenced to 300 hours of community work and nine months' supervision, and fined $10,000.

After his guilty plea, Veitch told the waiting media that he was "grateful sense has prevailed and the other charges have been dropped".

"As I said months ago, when I walked out of here, I was stunned those charges had even been laid."

In the summary of facts read to the court, Veitch admitted kicking Dunne-Powell once in the back after an argument at his St Heliers home on January 29, 2006.

However, the police file released yesterday to the Herald, Dominion Post, and Herald on Sunday newspapers, as well as TV3, under the Official Information Act outlines the case against Veitch for the six dropped charges.

According to the original police summary of facts, these other alleged assaults included Veitch:

- Forcing her against wall and kicking her leg several times at her Orakei home.

- Throwing Dunne-Powell onto a bed at the Stables Cottages in Northland. Veitch punched a wall, leaving a hole which needed repairs.

- Throwing her onto a bed and pinning her down in a Novotel hotel room in Rotorua after Veitch MCed an event.

- Chasing her upstairs at his St Heliers home, cornering her, then kicking her so hard she was unable to walk.

- Pinning her to the bed and punching her in the torso at his home.

- Grabbing her arms leaving bruises, then kicking her legs at his home.

After the assault in January 2006 in which Dunne-Powell was taken to hospital, she took six weeks off work but did not lay a complaint with police.

Veitch agreed to pay her more than $150,000 in compensation in a secret deal in December 2007, with both parties signing a confidentiality agreement.

But the allegations of the assault were made public by media last July, leading Veitch to admit he "lashed out" and losing his sports presenter jobs with TVNZ and Radio Sport.

Police laid seven charges in August, before the plea bargain was reached last month shortly before the depositions hearing was due to begin.

After Veitch's guilty plea, Dunne-Powell told the Herald that agreeing to a plea bargain was a difficult decision, but the best outcome for both parties.

Of the decision not to pursue the other charges, she said: "When I thought about it, it was much more powerful to me that he admits being guilty of domestic violence. Much more powerful than 12 strangers on a jury who weren't there."

She hoped that after Veitch's guilty plea to the highest charge, "people would realise that innocent people don't plead guilty".

"Police didn't lay these seven charges willy nilly. They did a very thorough investigation and there is file on file on file of documents relating to them."

After the sentencing, Veitch told one reporter in a round of interviews of his "momentary lapse" and that "one mistake". He denies the other allegations of assault ever happened.

After sentencing, Veitch told Newstalk ZB: "The statement of facts says what happened. I think it is up to average Joe Blow New Zealanders to look at what did happen that night and make their own decisions. I've never wanted sympathy.

"I hope average Kiwis will say, 'the bloke made a mistake ... it was inexcusable and maybe one day he'll be given a second chance'."

- NZ Herald

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