Charges against an Auckland rabbi have been dismissed following an disagreement with another man.
Rabbi Aharon Elyakim Hacohen, 32, was accused of punching the man in the groin and face.
Judge Heemi Taumaunu at the Auckland District Court today dismissed a charge of common assault, following a judge-alone trial last month, saying the court was unable to reach a conclusion that it had been proved by police beyond reasonable doubt.
According to his reserved judgement released today by Judge Taumaunu, the complainant - who has been granted permanent name suppression to avoid undue hardship - was helping organise an event last year.
He got a call that an object wasn't there. It was to be the centrepiece for the event.
The complainant said it would be "unfathomable" for it not part of the celebration.
He understood that Hacohen had said the object was unable to be used as it needed to be repaired. The complainant did not believe this.
He went to Hacohen's house in Mt Eden to persuade him to release the object.
The complainant claimed he never entered the property but stayed on the footpath, according to the decision. There, he claimed Hacohen became aggravated and said to him literally in Hebrew "If you enter the premises your blood will be in your head".
The complainant interpreted this to mean "I will kill you", the decision said.
The complainant claimed Hacohen then punched him in the groin and face before shoving him backwards with his outstretched hands and forehead.
He procured photos that showed he suffered a small cut to the temple and his glasses were bent.
After calling police, the complainant left the property to attend the event without the object.
Hacohen recounted a different version of events. He claimed that the complainant had entered his property.
He did not want his children to see the confrontation so he said he pushed him out onto the footpath and closed the gate. But he denied saying that he would kill the complainant, and did not punch him in the face or the groin.
"He said it is not his way, not his personality and not his character to use that type of threatening language," stated the reserved judgement.
Hacohen claimed he and the complainant had a long-standing, deep disagreement. He claimed the complainant had pursued the court case to make it more difficult for him to get permanent residency.
Judge Taumaunu ruled that the court is unable to reach a conclusion that the charge has been proved by the police beyond reasonable doubt.
"Two very impressive witnesses have given evidence; and they have said materially different things.
"Clearly only one version can be the truth.
"There are longstanding differences of opinion between the two... [they] have lead to disputes that are still unresolved."
Judge Taumaunu's decision stated that the court could not rule out the possibility Hacohen used reasonable force to remove a trespasser from his property.
The court also had reasonable doubt as to whether Hacohen actually struck the complainant, whether his actions caused bodily harm and whether the injuries suffered constitute bodily harm.