Pilot's last chance for name suppression

Last updated 18:16 30/08/2010

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A former Air Nelson pilot who was fired for having sex with a younger flight attendant and drinking excessively before a flight has lost a Supreme Court bid for name suppression.

The pilot, who has interim name suppression until September 7, has made three applications- to the Employment Court, the Court of Appeal and to the highest court in the land - to stop the publication of his name, all of which have been dismissed.

He appeared before the Employment Court in Auckland last week to try to overturn his sacking following a drinking and sex session during an unscheduled stopover in Napier in 2008.

He was said to have invited a 19-year-old flight attendant to his bedroom where they had sex.

The woman claimed the sex was not consensual but he argued she had actually initiated it.

The Supreme Court said in its judgment released today the pilot needed to show "extremely compelling circumstances" for him to be granted leave to appeal, but there were none.

"No point of law or principle of general or public importance is involved. Nor can the miscarriage ground be invoked. For these reasons the application for leave must be dismissed."

However, it extended the interim order until 5pm on September 7, giving him the chance to apply to the Employment Court again, "should the present state of the case in that Court be thought to justify a suppression order."

Employment Court Judge Mark Perkins last week reserved his decision on whether the pilot should get his job back or be compensated, but said he would deliver it as soon as possible.

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- NZPA

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