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Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Sex offender Reekie loses bid to have security costs waived

Nicholas Reekie. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Nicholas Reekie. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Notorious sex offender Nicholas Reekie has lost his bid to have nearly $6000 worth of security costs waived.

Reekie argued to the Court of Appeal his circumstances as a prisoner were "exceptional", he was facing extreme financial hardship and his case was in the public interest.

But a decision released yesterday by the court said poverty in itself was not a reason to waive the $5880 security cost.

Reekie has appealed against an earlier Court of Appeal decision that dismissed his appeal against being transferred from Auckland Prison to Springhill Prison in Waikato.

In that earlier court action Reekie said he was placed in a unit with tougher conditions than Auckland, and he alleged various deficiencies in respect of security classification, management plans and segregation.

The Court of Appeal judge, Justice Rodney Hansen said Reekie's sense of grievance was understandable and there had been a failure to give notice of, and reasons for, the transfer.

However, he said the transfer was lawful since it was made for proper reasons and it was not unreasonable.

In appealing Justice Hansen's decision, Reekie applied to have the security costs waived, but the Appeal Court registrar declined the application.

The registrar noted it must be in the interests of justice for security for costs to be waived and there must be exceptional circumstances to do so. Financial hardship alone was not sufficient.

Reekie argued his circumstances were exceptional because he was a long-serving prisoner presently subject to preventive detention and was self-represented.

However, Justice Forrest Miller did not agree that those matters justified a waiver in the interests of justice. He also said the registrar was correct in refusing to waive the security costs.

Justice Miller gave Reekie 20 working days to pay the sum.

Reekie was sentenced to preventive detention in 2003 with a minimum non-parole period of 25 years - later reduced to 20 years - after being convicted on 31 charges, including abduction and rape, for offences against four female victims aged between 11 and 69.

David Dougherty was earlier wrongly jailed for the 1992 abduction and rape of the 11-year-old girl.

Dougherty was cleared by DNA evidence.

- APNZ

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