Accused takes ill at indecency trial
A 23-year-old Blenheim man appearing in Blenheim District Court yesterday on nine charges of indecent assault on two girls abruptly left the courtroom after telling the judge he was going to be sick.
Zane Russell Greer was appearing before Judge Peter Butler and a jury for the opening of his trial on the charges.
He denies all nine charges of indecently assaulting two girls, who were aged under 15 at the time of the alleged offending in August last year. The charges include touching the girls' breasts, putting his hands down their pants and kissing them.
The jury was listening to Crown prosecutor Sophie O'Donoghue list the witnesses who would give evidence at the trial when the accused told the judge he was going to be sick.
He appeared calm and composed during the jury selection but interrupted Ms O'Donoghue from the dock and was escorted out of the courtroom by two prison guards.
The trial resumed about 15 minutes later and the first witness, a girl who was 13 at the time of the offending, took the stand.
The jury watched a DVD of a police interview with the girl two weeks after the incident.
She gave details of contact the accused had with her family.
On August 5 last year, the girl's mother had gone to Nelson and left her daughter and a 14-year-old friend in the care of a female boarder.
They had gone bowling with Greer, who had been drinking.
The girl told police Greer bought a bottle of vodka and some pre-mixed bourbon drinks on the way home.
During the night, Greer inappropriately touched both her and her friend several times, she said.
On one occasion, the accused went into the room where she and her friend were sleeping and tried to put his hand down her top.
"He kept coming in and trying to put his hands down our pants," she said. "Me and [my friend] both pushed him away."
He had also made indecent suggestions to the girls, she said.
Defence lawyer Philip Watson suggested the girls had been having fun with Greer. There was touching but it was not indecent, he said.
"You're exaggerating the touching," Mr Watson said.
The jury also watched a DVD of an interview with the second girl.
She said Greer indecently touched her several times and carried her into the bedroom but she refused to have sex with him, she said.
"He was angry I wouldn't have sex with him," she said.
"He asked me why, and I said: you're too old, it's disgusting. I'm too young."
The trial continues today.
The Marlborough Express