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

Victim angry at accused's bail repeats

Exclusive - Man accused of violent attack still at large after five breaches of conditions.

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A man accused of a violent assault has breached bail five times - and been released back into the community each time.

The victim, who lost an eye in the attack, is outraged and has made an official complaint to the Ministry of Justice calling for a judicial review. And victim advocates say there is no incentive for people on bail to behave if they are re-bailed every time they breach their release conditions.

The 33-year-old victim, who spoke to the Herald on the condition his name was not published, was at a bar on the North Shore last May when the assault happened.

He and a friend sat at a table with two women they knew, and soon after they were attacked by four men. It is understood one of the women was the ex-girlfriend of one of the alleged offenders, who took exception to the victim and his friend speaking to her.

"One of them pushed me in the back and hit me and I went down to the ground," the victim said.

"As I lay there he stabbed me in the eye with either a glass or a bottle. My friend got stabbed in the back of the head."

Despite surgery, the victim lost his left eye. He also had a broken nose.

Four men were arrested and charged. All pleaded not guilty and their cases are still before the Auckland District Court.

The man accused of being the main offender is facing several charges including wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

After his first court appearance, the accused was released on bail with conditions including a curfew and alcohol ban.

He was also forbidden to contact any of his alleged co-offenders, the victims or witnesses or enter licensed premises.

The Herald has learned he has breached those conditions five times.

Between June 10 last year and January 13 he was arrested for breaching bail by consuming alcohol, not abiding by his curfew and communicating with a co-offender using Facebook.

Each arrest was the result of police carrying out bail checks. The accused appeared in court each time, but to date has not been charged with any further offences.

The Herald requested, for each breach of bail, the judge's reason for continuing bail. But a spokeswoman for the courts could not provide the information.

She said that on one occasion the accused was given a warning about breaching bail, and another time his curfew hours were changed.

Police could not comment on the case as it was before the courts.

The victim has asked for a judicial review and has complained about the repeated re-bailing.

"How can this happen? I think the judges who allowed this are idiots," he said.

"It's ridiculous that he's been given this many chances. It's starting to make me think there's no justice."

- NZ Herald

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