World designer assault accused discharged

17:00, Sep 12 2012
Denise L'Estrange-Corbet
SPAT: Denise L'Estrange-Corbet was not injured in the alleged assault.


Leading fashion designer Denise L’Estrange-Corbet is threatening to appeal a judge’s decision to discharge a man she had a spat with in the carpark of an Auckland gourmet supermarket.

Kenneth James Davern appeared in the Auckland District Court, on Tuesday, charged with assaulting L'Estrange-Corbet, the founder of World, on March 24.

But Judge David Harvey discharged Davern without conviction after he ruled the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the offence.

Davern, 53, is listed online as the company director of - a company which buys and sells marina berths throughout New Zealand.

Court documents said L'Estrange-Corbet and Davern got into a verbal confrontation in the carpark of the Nosh store on Ponsonby Rd, which then moved into the store and then back to the carpark.


Davern got in his car to drive away but L'Estrange Corbet would not move from behind it so Davern got out and "pushed her hard on the shoulders".

The fashion designer was not injured.

She said yesterday the decision to discharge Davern was ‘‘appalling’’.

‘‘It sends such a bad message, that you can assault people. We’re trying to educate people that it’s not OK.’’

She had wanted to see Davern ordered to pay $10,000 to Women’s Refuge.

L’Estrange-Corbet said she planned to appeal the decision and would write to Justice Minister Judith Collins to complain.

She likened the decision to the community sentence handed to banker Guy Hallwright who ran over a Korean businessman.

‘‘Do you have to end up in a morgue to get someone to listen to you?’’ she said.

L’Estrange-Corbet was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. She started World with her former husband Francis Hooper more than two decades ago.

The company now has more than 10 stand alone stores and has recently opened a number of World branded beauty stores.

Auckland Now