Medal theft accused misses hearing

A man accused of stealing military medals did not appear at a status hearing in Invercargill District Court on Wednesday for medical reasons.

Owen James Gough, of Invercargill, faces 22 charges of theft of a range of items. These include New Zealand operational service medals, Pinjat Jasa Malaysia medals, six miniature medals, a 1915 Anzac medallion, a 2nd Queen Alexandra Wellington West Coast Mounted Rifles Badge, and New Zealand Army 150-year anniversary medals.

He is also charged with obtaining a pecuniary advantage, namely $130, by selling a fake New Zealand Army 150-year anniversary medal as genuine and obtaining possession of a J-Force medal and New Zealand operational service medal and miniature medal by deception. The charges were laid as a result of a police investigation after a Fair Go programme aired on May 30.

Yesterday Gough's lawyer David Slater said his client had been excused attendance at the status hearing on medical grounds.

The matter could not be resolved without a hearing, which could last a week, Mr Slater said. "It is a complex business."

Judge John MacDonald remanded Gough on bail to a nominal date of December 12 for a date for the hearing to be set.

The Southland Times