Sex charges were allegedly dropped against a Hastings man because he put pressure on the complainant to withdraw the claims, a court has been told.

Mark Alexander Smith, 60, went on trial in Napier District Court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Crown prosecutor Cam Stuart said in his opening address to Judge Geoff Rea and a jury of seven women and five men that a man's complaint laid with police in late 2015 led to Smith being charged with four counts of sexual violation, two of supplying methamphetamine, two of supplying cannabis and one of stupefying.

But the charges were dropped five months later, which Stuart said was due to Smith pressuring the complainant to drop the charges, through February and March 2016.


He said the complainant was then initially charged with making a false statement to police.

In his opening statement, defence counsel Richard Stone said Smith did not encourage or pressure the complainant into dropping the charges, and that the trial would be primarily an assessment of the complainant.

The judge told the jury the original charges against Smith had not proceeded.

He said while the jury would be told them for context, their job was not to make a ruling on the original charges, but to rule on the current allegation.

The trial is expected last two days.