Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Lawyer accused of giving inmate iPhone

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A criminal lawyer has appeared in court charged with delivering a cellphone, cigarettes and a lighter to a high-profile murderer serving a life sentence.

Suppression orders prevent the publication of the woman's name and age, the name of the prisoner and details of his crime, history and sentence.

The Herald understands that she is alleged to have taken an iPhone, a packet of Marlboro cigarettes and a Bic lighter to the inmate on October 7 in Mt Eden Prison.

The date of the visit was about two months after a smoking ban was introduced in prison.

It is unclear how or when the pair first met but it is understood she was not representing him legally.

The lawyer has been charged under the Corrections Act, which deals with unauthorised deliveries, communications, recordings, and possession of unauthorised items to prisoners inside a jail.

She first appeared in court last month and pleaded not guilty to the charge. She was remanded on bail with conditions.

The Herald applied to the court for access to the lawyer's file, including details of the police case against her.

She was set to appear in front of a judge yesterday, but after he alerted the court to the fact that he knew her, her case was put before a community magistrate instead.

The magistrate refused to deal with the Herald's application, or to listen to the newspaper's argument for opposing name suppression, partially based on the fact that she had not had time to review the relevant documents.

She adjourned the case until February, and ruled that the tight suppression order - which was also opposed by police - remain in place until at least then.

Police refused to comment on the case as it is before the courts. The Department of Corrections said it did not comment on specific prisoners or go into detail about their individual visitation rights.

A source said the lawyer and the prisoner had essentially refused to speak to police about the alleged incident or the nature of their relationship.

If convicted, the lawyer faces up to three months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5000.

A conviction could also end her career.

Legal counsel before the courts

Name suppressed - barrister
A prominent Auckland barrister is facing a disciplinary hearing on three misconduct charges brought against him by the standards committee of the New Zealand Law Society. He has been granted interim name suppression until his case is heard next year.

Tim Sarah - police prosecutor
Before the Auckland District Court on 20 charges including the possession and supply of methamphetamine and Ecstasy, participating in an organised criminal group and passing information from the police computer system to three co-accused.

Emily Toner - Crown prosecutor for Meredith Connell
Awaiting sentencing in the North Shore District Court after she admitted stealing almost $200 worth of groceries from a supermarket while on a break from a court case she was prosecuting. Toner blamed the theft on an eating disorder which "prevented her from thinking straight".

Anita Killeen - former chief prosecutor for the Serious Fraud Office, barrister
Charged with forgery, using a forged document and recklessly damaging a computer system. The charges are believed to be in relation to forged documents sent to the media this year in an attempt to smear SFO boss Adam Feeley.

- NZ Herald

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