Father discharged without conviction

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 17:29 14/08/2014

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A Tauranga professional has been awarded his second discharge without conviction and kept name suppression, despite police apologising to the victim over their handling of his first case.

A police prosecutor failed to turn up at court for the decision today, leaving the victim's mother once again let down by the police and forced to question the judge's decision herself from the back of the court.

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.

He sent the boy a book even though he was ordered to have no contact with the boy.

Judge Philip Recordon ordered a discharge without conviction on the breaches, saying the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the offending.

Police earlier apologised for their handling of his first case - a child assault on his own son in which he slammed the 11-year-old boy's 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. 

In a letter to the mother of the boy, 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 against the boy's father, and failed to return the woman's phone calls. 

The man was discharged without conviction and awarded permanent name suppression after his Queen's Counsel argued that convicting and naming him would damage his reputation and affect his charity work.

Judge Recordon said the suppression imposed on the original case meant the man could not be named in the subsequent case, even though the boy had told the court he was fine with his father being named.

The boy's mother questioned the decision today in court, saying she had seen "no justice for her and her son".

She had given up her job to care for her son who had a head injury and they now lived in a state house.

"I've lost faith in the justice system," she said.

"It is not just."


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