A judge has assigned a tentative sentencing date for Destiny Church member and alleged lockdown protest attendee Paul Craig Thompson after the Auckland District Court was informed he intends to plead guilty.
The Papatoetoe resident, 57, was charged alongside Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki last year, after the first large lockdown protest at Auckland Domain.
The October 2 event was estimated to have been attended by about 2000 people. Under alert level 3 restrictions at the time, most non-essential gatherings that involved the mixing of bubbles were banned. Weddings and funerals were exceptions to the rule, but for groups of no more than 10 people.
Thompson was charged again with violating lockdown rules in November, accused of attending a follow-up protest at Auckland Domain on October 30 that had an estimated attendance of 5000 people.
He has previously pleaded not guilty to both charges, as well as to breaching his bail conditions by attending the second protest.
Thompson was set to appear at Auckland District Court today for a bail hearing with his lawyer, prominent anti-vaccine campaigner Sue Grey. Neither appeared, instead filing a joint memorandum with the Crown indicating imminent guilty pleas.
Contacted after the hearing, Grey said she is currently in Wellington at the Parliament occupation. She declined to comment on the case because there are still pending matters before the court.
Judge Kathryn Maxwell set a sentencing date for April based on the intimated guilty pleas.
Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey told the judge he no longer intended to pursue bail breach charges.