Tony Veitch police file released
Lawyers block further publicationBY MICHAEL FIELD
A large and graphic file of evidence on how broadcaster Tony Veitch assaulted his partner has been released by police but a High Court injunction obtained tonight now limits the file's disclosure.
Tony Veitch's lawyers today blocked the publication of material from a police file news media had obtained under the Official Information Act.
His lawyers got an interim High Court injunction preventing disclosure from the file, which related to the recent prosecution of the former broadcaster.
The file paints a different picture to that claimed by Veitch over how he treated his former partner Kristin Dunne-Powell, detailing allegations of long-term abuse and physical violence noticed by others around the couple.
Veitch, 35, was last month sentenced to nine months' supervision, 300 hours community service, fined $10,000 and ordered to attend a Preventing Violence course, after admitting injuring his former girlfriend, Kristin Dunne-Powell.
Six charges of male assaults female were dropped by the Crown.
The order prevents police from disclosing the contents of the file to "any person", and any further publication of details by news organisations.
A further hearing of the injunction, granted by Justice Jill Mallon in the High Court at Wellington, is set down for next Tuesday, May 26.
DETAILS ALREADY RELEASED FROM THE FILE:
The allegations in the police files were not tested in court and six of the seven charges Veitch originally faced were dropped.
Wellington newspaper The Dominion Post revealed last year that Veitch secretly agreed to pay Ms Dunne-Powell more than $100,000 in return for her silence about an assault in which her back was fractured.
In April, in a plea bargain, Veitch pleaded guilty to one charge of injuring Ms Dunne-Powell with reckless disregard. He was sentenced to nine months’ supervision, 300 hours’ community work and fined $10,000.
The Dominion Post, which initially broke the story of the assault, obtained the 358-page file under the Official Information Act.
It contains “Version 1, Summary of Facts” which was written to be presented in court by the Crown.
The summary refers to allegations of assault around charges later dropped. The first of the dropped charges was between March 15, 2002 to April 19, 2003 when Ms Dunne-Powell arrived at Veitch’s home where they argued.
“During the argument the Defendant (Veitch) stood in front of the Complainant’s face, forcing her backward against a wall,” the summary of facts in the police file says.
Ms Dunne-Powell slid down the wall toward the floor and “and as she moved to escape sideways (Veitch) kicked her two to three times to the back of the thigh”, it said.
The file said she left and was “shaken and frightened by the assault.”
The next charge related to an incident between April 14, 2003 and April 9, 2005 at a cottage in Mangawhai. The couple argued and Veitch grabbed Ms Dunne-Powell and threw her on a bed, according to the file.
The police file says: “The Defendant stood over the Complainant shouting at her as she lay on her back, then picked up a glass of water from the side table and threw the content into the Complainant’s face. At one point during the assault the Defendant punched a hole in the wall of the cottage.”
Another incident occurred on June 3, 2005 at the Novotel in Rotorua, according to the summary.
In the room Veitch grabbed Ms Dunne-Powell from “behind with both hands and lifted her off her feet and threw her onto the bed", the police file said.
The summary of facts file says he pinned her to the bed and she later fled.
At Veitch’s St Heliers Bay home on July 8, 2005 the two argued again. Veitch chased her upstairs into the bedroom and then blocked her escape.
“As (Ms Dunne-Powell) lowered herself to the floor to get away (Veitch) kicked her in her right thigh with a force so hard it spun her onto her back,” the summary says.
He kicked her twice more and she suffered severe bruising. On the morning of July 5, 2005 at the home they argued again.
The police summary says Veitch jumped on her as she lay in bed “with his knees at hip height and punched the complainant once in the torso with his left hand while shouting at her.”
In December 2005 at the home Veitch grabbed Ms Dunne-Powell “by both arms and pulled her out of the room and down the stairs to the front door entrance.”
Inside the front door he kicked her a number of times on both legs.
None of these incidents were tested in court after the majority of charges were dropped.
However, the incident that related to the charge Veitch pleaded guilty to, is also in the file.
It occurred on January 29, 2006 where a heated argument occurred. Veitch kicked her two to three times in her back.
“The blows caused the complainant to collapse on the floor screaming. (Veitch) crouched down beside the complainant and asked if she was ‘OK’ as she repeated she wasn’t. Unable to move from her position on the floor (Veitch) provided the victim a pillow for her head.”
Veitch then went to sleep and Ms Dunne-Powell dragged herself to the bed.
“She woke some time later sweaty and nauseous and with an urgent need to go to the toilet.
“As the Defendant slept on, the Victim dragged herself to the en-suite toilet,” the summary says.
“On making it to the toilet she collapsed on the floor and heard the Defendant yell ‘what the f**** going on now’ as he entered the bathroom.”
Ms Dunne-Powell pleaded with Veitch to call an ambulance but he said “I’m not having an ambulance come to this house.”
He eventually took her to the Auckland Emergency Department at 4am, leaving her there at 6am due to work commitments.
“As a result of the assault the Complainant received a traumatic haematoma, a sprain to the sacroiliac ligament and two fractures to the spine which were causative of an on-going nerve problem.
“Resulting muscle loss has caused a physical disfigurement in that area of the back.”
In all his dealings with the police, Veitch maintained, on legal advice, his right to silence. This is mentioned several times in the file.
It also includes a transcript of an interview between Veitch and Paul Holmes, which was conducted for a Sunday newspaper.
In that interview Veitch told Holmes he had a total sense of shame.
“I would love to prove to people that I made a mistake, a terrible mistake,” Veitch said in the interview, now part of the police file.
“But I’m not that person and that’s the one thing I’ve always kept saying to people, and I’ve said it quite a lot, please know I’m not that person … I’m not that person, and I hope people know that.”