Convicted paedophile keeps name suppression

Photo / File / Martin Sykes
Photo / File / Martin Sykes

The Human Rights Tribunal has ordered that a convicted paedophile cannot be named while it hears an urgent application for an interim suppression order of his identity.

Chairman Roger Haines, QC, made the ruling today at Auckland District Court where the Human Rights Commission is seeking an interim name suppression order for the paedophile after his details were published on the Sensible Sentencing Trust's online offender register.

The HRC claims the man's details were suppressed following his conviction at trial in the mid-1990s.

However, a court minute says there is no evidence of any such suppression order existing and the Sensible Sentencing Trust is fighting the claim.

Mr Haines made the "interim-interim" ruling this morning that media could not publish the name of the man until he had heard the evidence and made a final decision on the overall interim name suppression.

The hearing is expected to conclude today and Mr Haines said he hoped to publish a decision within days.

Simon Judd, representing the Human Rights Commissioner, said the man was aged in his early 20s when he offended against two girls in 1975 and 1977.

Mr Judd said the man was convicted of five offences in 1975 and articles in the Press the following day did not name him.

He said the fact other court stories in that same day's newspaper named other offenders showed there was "a reasonable and proper inference to be drawn ... that the name was suppressed".

"Why else would the journalist name defendants in all of the other articles but not in that one?" Mr Judd said.

He said there was no publication of the man's name until 2009, by which time the man had "done very well in his business life" and was earning about $150,000 as the chief executive of a "significant organisation".

It was then that a "blackmail letter" was sent to the chairman of the organisation, after which the company initially "supported" its CEO.

"But the anonymous person [behind the letter] didn't give up with that," Mr Judd said.

"They then circulated the internal police record to ... the organisation."

It was after this that the paedophilia convictions were published on the SST's online offenders register.

In October 2009 the man's lawyer wrote to the trust, which removed the man's details temporarily.

When they were republished in November that year a complaint was made to the Privacy Commissioner, which investigated and formed an opinion that the trust "had interfered with the aggrieved person's privacy".

The commissioner also found that the police report on the man had been "wrongfully obtained from the police computer" before it was circulated to the offender's employers.

The hearing continues.


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