Axed Married At First Sight contestant Chris Mansfield was charged with assault in 2009.

But he was granted diversion by police and never convicted or sentenced - meaning the charge did not come to light before he was selected to appear on the reality show.

Mansfield, 39, was due to appear on the third season of MediaWorks reality show Married At First Sight which airs on Three on September 8.

MAFS scandal: On-screen bride speaks up about Chris Mansfield allegations and her connection with his US ex


However after it emerged that he had been charged with domestic violence in the US, he was edited out of the show.

His removal came after his ex Candace Casady, 32, claimed he "almost killed me a couple of times (through) strangling" before he was arrested on a domestic violence charge on May 4, 2009.

Mansfield pleaded not guilty and was released on bail but the Herald on Sunday understands that after missing a second pre-trial hearing on June 15, he was taken into custody by US immigration services and sent home to New Zealand.

Casady was pregnant with his child at the time he left the US but did not have the baby.

Mansfield has not responded to requests for comment by the Herald on multiple platforms this week.

His immediate family have also refused to comment.

Axed reality star Chris Mansfield works as a brand ambassador for DB. Photo / Doug Sherring
Axed reality star Chris Mansfield works as a brand ambassador for DB. Photo / Doug Sherring

The Herald on Sunday has learnt that in February 2009 Mansfield was granted diversion in the Christchurch District Court on a charge of assault.

Diversion is a scheme that gives a second chance to "first-time offenders who commit minor offences".


It is run by the police prosecution service and eligible offenders are effectively dealt with outside court and avoid a formal prosecution.

Violent offences like assault are not usually considered for diversion.

But in some cases the offence or offender may be eligible for the scheme.

MediaWorks refused to comment further about his participation in and removal from the show.

"However, I do want to point out that diversion does not come up on Ministry of Justice criminal conviction histories," said spokeswoman Rose Swale.

A criminal record covers criminal and traffic offences.

But does not include information about police diversion, Youth Court charges, overseas or Court Martial/military convictions, charges yet to court, charges a person was not convicted of, charges a person was found not guilty of, infringements such as parking tickets, demerit point or driver licence suspension information.

The woman Mansfield was matched with and "married" to on MAFS was Auckland business owner and sales manager Aimee Collins.

Aimee Collins was
Aimee Collins was "married" to Chris Mansfield on reality show Married At First Sight. Photo / Mediaworks

The 34-year-old confirmed the pair exited the show early.

She spoke to the Herald this week saying the days following the revelations about Mansfield's charges in the US had been "really hard".

"Honestly, it has been a nightmare, the last few days has been very, very traumatising for me," she said.

"The entire experience has been very, very traumatising for me. I'm really lost for words."

Collins had reached out to Casady and the pair had been speaking at length about Mansfield.

Collins said there was much more she wanted to say about her MAFS experience.

However she was working with lawyers and could not go into specifics on some matters.

She could not comment on whether she would take legal action against MediaWorks or if the company was supporting her.

She could not speak about how Mansfield was towards her during filming or if there were any issues or incidents of concern.

And she could not speak about whether she had any contact with police in relation to Mansfield.

"Just because of legal advice I can't ... I will share later on, but right now I can't," she explained.

Diversion - what is it and who gets it?

Under the police diversion scheme - an alternative to a full, formal prosecution process - offenders are dealt with "out of court".

They must effectively admit to the offending and "complete agreed conditions" set by police by a specified date.

A typical diversion agreement can include a combination of apologising to a victim and paying reparation, attending counselling, education programmes, addiction or "personal issues" treatment, community service and restorative justice.

If conditions are met, police can then seek to have the charge withdrawn.

If diversion is granted, a conviction is not entered.

According to police policy, there are for purposes for diversion:

• to address offending behaviour that has resulted in charges

• to balance the needs of victims, the offender and their communities

• to give offenders an opportunity to avoid conviction

• to reduce re-offending.

"Diversion enables eligible offenders to complete diversion activities within a given timeframe to avoid both a full prosecution and the possibility of receiving a conviction," police explain on their website.

"This means that judicial time is able to be reserved for more serious offences and offenders."

In most cases violent offences are not eligible for diversion.

But police said there were "no hard and fast rules" on diversion categories.

"For every individual circumstance there are different aggravating and mitigating factors that might make someone eligible or ineligible for diversion," their policy states.

A police fact sheet on diversion. Image / NZ Police
A police fact sheet on diversion. Image / NZ Police

While diversion does not show up on a person's criminal record, it may be revealed in a police check.

"If you are vetted by the police vetting service for a role involving the care and protection of children or the vulnerable, or for any other purpose that fits the criteria for police vetting, details of the diversion matter may be released if they are considered relevant to the role for which you are being checked," the police website confirmed.