Police: Sex advances lasted 8 minutes

JOHN EDENS
Last updated 05:00 02/08/2014

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A police summary in the case of a Central Otago woman battling for her name to be published, says the indecent incident lasted for eight minutes.

Fairfax Media yesterday revealed an application has been filed by the woman to lift her automatic name suppression - granted by law to all victims of sexual offending - and that the defendant in the proceedings opposes the move.

After a string of court appearances, "Mr X" was granted a discharge without conviction on an indecency charge and final name suppression earlier this year.

Last year, in a Court of Appeal decision by Justices O'Regan, France and MacKenzie, the facts were outlined about when the man visited a friend at her home in 2011.

The woman was about to leave the house to go shopping but invited the man in for a cup of tea. In the kitchen, he tried to kiss her and touch her on her clothing before putting her hand on his groin. She rejected the advances.

An initial summary of facts, seen by Fairfax Media, says the incident lasted for about eight minutes.

"The victim pleaded with the defendant to stop, stating that he was upsetting her and that her husband and daughter were returning.

"The incident lasted for an estimated eight minutes amid the victim's protests and total lack of reciprocation."

In a witness statement, the victim's husband told police Mr X was in the house after he returned from feeding the family dog.

"As I went in I felt like he was pushing me out of the house as he walked outside towards me. He wasn't physically moving me, it was just an impression I got. It seemed a little funny, like I couldn't get into my own house.

"He talked to me for a little while; I did notice that he was red-faced. I noticed that [my wife] who was at home with my daughter kept away."

They went back inside the house to look at a website and the husband noticed Mr X's hand was shaking.

"I remember that X talked about my daughter and her attitude. [My wife] then told me that she had to go into town. I thought this was a bit rude but looking back, I now know why. I thought this was very unusual at the time."

The Central Otago case echoes that of the woman at the centre of the case of the Malaysian diplomat, Tania Billingsley, who successfully applied to have her name suppression lifted.

Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, a former staff member at the Malaysian High Commission, was arrested on May 9 and charged with burglary and assault with intent to rape after allegedly following Billingsley home. He invoked diplomatic immunity and returned to Malaysia.

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In the Queenstown District Court on Monday, Judge Michael Turner heard the latest development in the Central Otago case in chambers and suppressed the entire hearing.

The judge's decision suppressed publication of the identities of the victim and the defendant. The name of the defendant was suppressed by the court while the name of the victim was suppressed by law, he said.

The man, in his 60s, pleaded guilty to an indecent act with intent to insult or offend when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court in March.

Judge David Saunders granted an application for a discharge without conviction and final name suppression. Previously, wide-ranging blanket suppression orders applied, including orders not to publish an anonymised account.

In August last year, the man admitted the charge, was convicted and ordered to pay $6500 to the victim. He had applied for a discharge without conviction and permanent name suppression but Judge Michael Crosbie refused, convicted him and ordered payment to the victim.

The defendant appealed that conviction and sentence on the basis there was a miscarriage of justice, which the Court of Appeal upheld and, in November, quashed his conviction for doing an indecent act with intent to insult or offend, and ordered the case back to the Dunedin District Court to replead.

- The Southland Times

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