Teen internet troll loses suppression

By Katie Holland -
Tristan Barker. Photo / Kerry Grant
Tristan Barker. Photo / Kerry Grant

Name suppression has expired for the Rotorua 18-year-old accused of assaulting an Australian TV reporter.

Tristan Barker - whose father Michael is a former drummer for Split Enz - appeared briefly in the Rotorua District Court today but did not enter a plea to the charge. He is accused of assaulting Today Tonight's Dave Eccelston in Rotorua earlier this month, after the reporter came to New Zealand to interview Barker about his online activity.

Barker's lawyer Bill Lawson asked for the case to be adjourned until next month so he could talk to police about diversion.

The teenager was remanded on bail until April 3.

Barker has drawn attention in Australia for his online posts, where he appears to have posted material that has upset many people.

Barker has hundreds of thousands of teenage "fans" who read his rants on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Barker has previously defended his son, saying the teenager had a talent for being satirical, that he had been misquoted and his comments taken out of context many times.

"He says things I think a lot of people would like to say but probably wouldn't say."

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