Man breached protection order
A prominent Tauranga professional has appeared in Auckland District Court today in a bid to keep his record clean, following a breach of court orders to stop him contacting his son.
However, Judge Philip Recordon said he would reserve his decision until next month to give him time to consider new material presented at today's hearing.
The offender, a man in his 50s involved in charity work, pleaded guilty to charges of breaching protection and parenting orders by making unauthorised contact with his son.
The man, who has name suppression, breached the orders when he sent a book with a message in it to his son through his daughter.
The breaches came after the man was charged with assaulting his son who was 11 at the time. The professional was discharged without conviction and granted permanent name suppression.
Defence lawyer Paul Mabey, QC, said the breach included "a book sent with a loving message sent from father to son".
The breach was not a "premeditated cold-hearted cold-blooded act of defiance" as the boy's mother suggested, he said.
Mabey referred to the man's extensive charity work and said the charity was not a front for him to hide behind.
Judge Recordon said the order clearly stated there was to be no contact between the father and the son.
Police prosecutor Joon Yi said regardless of the intention behind the breach the man ignored the court's orders and took a "reckless approach".
The man inserted his own interpretation of what should be happening, which made the offending worse, Yi said.
The most important aspect to be taken into account was the ongoing psychological effects on the victim, he said.
Yi said the young boy, who replied to his father's unauthorised message, probably did not understand the importance of the orders and the extent of the breaches.
Police had since apologised for their handling of the initial child assault case, which allegedly took place in 2012.
In a letter of apology to the boy’s mother, a senior officer admitted police had watered down the summary of facts, failed to keep her and her son informed of the fact they were reducing the charge, and failed to return the woman's phone calls.
The boy told police that after a dispute over a phone in November, 2012, his father slammed his head twice on to the concrete floor of their garage, dragged him up some stairs, banged him against the walls, dragged him across the lounge floor, sat him down and slammed his head on to the kitchen table.
He ran from the address, went to his grandmother's house and was taken to Tauranga Hospital with bruising to his neck and arms, and swelling and bruising to his head.
He also complained of headaches and sore eyes and, according to his mother, still suffers headaches, nausea and fatigue.
The boy's mother was in court today, surrounded by friends and supporters.