ZB

High-profile public servant performed sex act in woman's home, court hears

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 Jan 2022, 1:20pm
The case was discussed today in Hutt Valley District Court. Photo RNZ
The case was discussed today in Hutt Valley District Court. Photo RNZ

High-profile public servant performed sex act in woman's home, court hears

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 Jan 2022, 1:20pm

A former high-profile Wellington public servant was allegedly caught on camera performing a sex act in a woman's house multiple times while she was out. 

Today in a pre-trial hearing at the Hutt Valley District Court prosecution lawyer Mark Shaw alleged the man had entered the woman's home at night twice, removed his clothing and performed a sex act in her lounge. 

The man is facing a representative burglary charge and an alternative charge of being in a building unlawfully. 

He has entered a not guilty plea to the charge of being in a building unlawfully and has been granted interim name suppression. The man has previously worked as a high-ranking public servant. 

Shaw said today that while police had charged him with being in her home unlawfully, that didn't cover the gravity of the man's alleged offending. 

While he told the court the primary motivation for the man's behaviour may have been "pleasure", Shaw said the offending was against her privacy. 

"You can look at the footage, he's masturbating." 

Judge Chris Sygrove asked the prosecution how they could prove he intended to commit that offence, if he did not know he was being filmed. 

Without the video, Judge Sygrove noted that it could have occurred without anyone finding out. 

Regardless, Shaw said just because she wasn't there, and wouldn't have known about the incident without the camera, it did not mean his actions weren't offending against her privacy. 

The accused's lawyer, Shanna Bolland, argued that her client could not intend to assault or offend if he was not aware that he was being recorded. 

She said in terms of the law, a person's body and physical integrity was treated differently than a person's home. 

Bolland believed there was insufficient evidence that there was an intention to offend any person, whereas masturbating in front of a person would likely cause offence. 

The charges relate to alleged incidents last year, and the case will back in court later this year. 

- by Katie Harris