'High flying' lawyer Marc Cropper appeals methamphetamine convictions
A former senior lawyer who admitting possessing methamphetamine after succumbing to a drug addiction has appealed his convictions.
Marc Cropper, formerly of law firm Simpson Grierson, was sentenced in April after he was found with 2.5 grams of the drug.
He was fined $300 and sentenced to supervision by Auckland District Court Judge Claire Ryan, who described Cropper as a "high flying, high achieving, high ranking, ambitious lawyer" who had suffered a "fall from grace".
Cropper was convicted despite his lawyer Peter Davey arguing Cropper would never find employment in his specialist law area of information technology if he had a criminal record.
Davey continued that argument in front of Justice Rebecca Edwards at the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday, saying Cropper was in a "critical" time of his life and a drug conviction was an "insurmountable obstacle" in his search for work.
Davey offered new evidence that Cropper had completed an 18-week rehabilitation course, and pointed to affidavits from industry experts who said Cropper wouldn't gain employment with his criminal history.
For the Crown, Hannah Clark argued that regardless of whether the convictions were entered Cropper would be required to disclose the fact he was arrested and charged to future employers.
She said the Clean Slate Act would essentially hide his convictions in seven years time, and argued Cropper's profession aggravated the offending because he should have known better.
Davey rejected those arguments.
"Simply saying to him (that) in seven years you won't have to worry about it is not going to ease the reality of the situation for him in the much nearer future," Davey said.
"The Crown ...says he should have known better, but he's no different to anyone else in that position. Everyone knows taking meth is illegal and shouldn't be condoned."
The fact Cropper was driven by his addiction, which he had taken steps to address, should have been a mitigating factor in his favour, Davey said.
He argued that the crux of the matter was that the consequences of the conviction was out of proportion with his offending.
Justice Edwards reserved her decision.