Rotorua doctor who attacked wife escapes conviction

By Sonya Bateson

An ex-Rotorua doctor who repeatedly kicked his wife, dragged her off the bed by her hair and held a beanie over her mouth while threatening her has been discharged without conviction.

Oliver Rose appeared before Judge Phillip Cooper in the Rotorua District Court this week on three charges of assaulting a female, all relating to his wife. He was employed at Rotorua Hospital at the time of the offences but left the region to work for the Auckland District Health Board before the charges were brought against him.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Bill Scott read out the summary of facts, detailing the three offences of which Rose had pleaded guilty to in August.

Mr Scott said on the first occasion in January this year, Rose forcefully dragged his wife outside to the ground where he repeatedly kicked her to the back of the leg, leaving her with serious bruises. On the second occasion in February, Mr Scott said Rose had grabbed his wife by her hair and while holding her, he repeatedly slapped her on both sides of her face. In the third incident in June, Rose threatened his wife, saying he would kill her if she had been with another man. He pushed her to the bed then held a beanie over her face.

Mr Scott said these offences were moderately serious.

"There has been three offences, therefore there is a pattern of behaviour here. He has significant issues with power and control."

His lawyer Andy Schulze said the three incidents were all committed at a period of time when Rose wasn't faring particularly well.

At the time, Mr Schulze said Rose suspected his wife was having an affair, which lead to him develop a relationship outside of marriage. He was also faced with three deaths in his family, including that of his mother.

Mr Schulze said Rose had taken part in a restorative justice conference and had referred himself to an anger management programme. Rose had also sought help from a psychoanalyst out of his own pocket and was doing voluntary conservation work.

Rose was hoping to become an ear, nose and throat surgeon, Mr Schulze said, and a conviction might affect his acceptance into the programme and it might also have implications for his current employment. He asked for Rose to be discharged without conviction, which was opposed by the police.

Judge Cooper said the offences weren't minor, but it was fair to say they weren't in the most serious category. He said the stresses in Rose and his wife's relationship were apparent as well as a "series of unfortunate events" including the deaths of three family members and the burglary of their home.

Judge Cooper said Rose's wife did not wish her husband to lose what he, with her help, had worked so hard to achieve, however she didn't want Rose to think his behaviour towards her was acceptable.

"It seems to me your behaviour was out of character, with a background of particular stress, both marital and personal and I accept Mr Schulze's submission that you are at a low risk of reoffending... it is fair to say any conviction is going to impact adversely on your employment."

Judge Cooper discharged Rose without conviction and ordered him to pay $3000 to the prosecution.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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