Students found guilty in broomstick case retrial

A jury in the High Court in Wellington today found five of six former Taradale High School pupils guilty of sexually violating a schoolmate with a broomstick at a party in Napier on October 17, 2001.

Mark Peter Hagen, 19, was found guilty of attempted sexual violation and sexual violation.

Anthony Richard Lloyd, 19, guilty of attempted sexual violation and sexual violation.

Kent Russell Burns, 19, guilty of sexual violation.

Daniel Martin Cutbill, 19, guilty of sexual violation.

Gabriel Williams, 19, guilty of sexual violation.

The sixth youth, Rewi John Gemmell, 18, was found guilty of the lesser charge of indecent assault.

Following their first trial, early last year at the High Court in Gisborne, all six students were found guilty of sexual violation and sentenced to prison terms of 2 to 2 1/2 years.

Three of the students appealed their convictions and sentences and in December the Court of Appeal overturned all the convictions and ordered a retrial.

In her summing up in the High Court at Wellington yesterday, Justice Lowell Goddard said a sleeping teenager had been ambushed.

A jeering group had pulled down his underpants in front of a young woman, he was pinned down, and one of the group violated the youth with a broomstick.

The judge said no comparison could be made between that and examples two defence lawyers gave of stag night pranks or rituals for sailors crossing the equator.

Another teen, Andrew James Castles, 18, was previously sentenced to 2-1/2 years jail, after pleading guilty.


- NZPA, HERALD STAFF

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