A High Court Justice has found a District Court judge erred in law by granting a discharges without conviction to a Central Lakes man who had admitted assaulting his wife, daughter and best friend in Queenstown last year.

The assaults occurred after the 58-year-old, who has name suppression, uncovered an affair between his wife and best friend.

He ultimately pushed the male victim against a pole in the Queenstown CBD on September 14, holding him there with his arm around his neck.

A struggle ensued and they both ended up on the ground.


The pair was separated by the defendant's daughter whom he grabbed by the throat and pushed to the ground, his hand preventing her from breathing.

His wife then intervened - the defendant put his boot up and pushed at her, kicking her in the ribs and causing her to fall backwards.

The Crown applied to appeal Judge John Brandts-Giesen's decision to discharge the man without conviction on all three assaults, submitting he erred in law.


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That application was heard before Justice Warwick Gendall in the High Court at Invercargill last week.

In his written decision, Justice Gendall found the judge had erred in law firstly in finding the gravity of the offending was low to moderate and secondly because there was insufficient material to find the consequences of a conviction were out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending.

"I, therefore, grant leave to the applicant for this appeal and set aside the decision of Judge Brandts-Giesen to discharge the respondent without conviction.''

Justice Gendall entered three convictions and ordered the matter be remitted back to the Queenstown District Court for sentencing, which was to be conducted ''entirely afresh''.