The Herald can reveal the 20-year-old’s case will be reviewed in the Auckland District Court in August. He’s had a not guilty plea entered to the incident at Albert Park, where a 71-year-old nana of six was allegedly assaulted.
The man first appeared in Auckland District Court on April 20 and was granted interim name suppression and it was reported he had been accepted on the police diversion scheme in the Gisborne District Court.
Today the Herald can reveal the case was never sent to Gisborne and the diversion offer was withdrawn by police.
The case will be reviewed at a hearing at 10.45am on August 10 in the Auckland District Court.
Women's Rights activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull aka Posie Parker is escorted from Albert Park. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland Court Registrar Trevor Ng said despite media reports to the contrary, the case file never left the Auckland District Court. Ng would not comment on the diversion.
“The charges have never been to Gisborne, always in Auckland,” Ng said.
“Police advise diversion declined,” Ng said.
“Adjourned to Thursday 10/08/2023 at 10.45 case review hearing tbc”
Ng said the suppression order of the name and details imposed by Judge Sellars “continues until the end of case.”
He would not comment on the police’s actions.
“I will not comment on the mechanics of the Police Diversion scheme as it is entirely at the discretion of the Police to offer, accept and manage a deft through their scheme,” he said.
Police have been approached for comment.
Yesterday the pensioner involved in the March incident said she received contact from the Auckland court outlining a new court date had been set for the case review hearing.
The woman - who has told police she did not agree to diversion, told the Herald she was “gobsmacked”.
“Who knows what happens from here,” the mum of three said.
The woman previously said she would like to sit face-to-face with the youth and ask him some questions.
The man’s defence lawyer Emma Priest, a criminal barrister from Augusta Chamber, was still looking for a good outcome for all involved and hoped diversion would still be an option.
“The police diversion scheme is a great scheme to divert mostly first-time offenders out of the criminal justice system. These are usually young people who have acted completely out of character,” Priest, told the Herald.
“Youth brain development tells us that young people not only make poor decisions in the moment, but also they have greater capacity for rehabilitation. The system allows them to rehabilitate and offer amends to the victim of their offending. They are often stories of redemption.
“In this case accepting and then withdrawing acceptance was a real blow to my young client. I expect this was distressing for the complainant too who believed there was some finality to this matter only to be told that it was not finalised at all. Senior police oversee these decisions. The error is inexplicable and unfair in my view. I cannot comment further on the case given it will now progress through the Courts in the usual way.”
During the Posie Parker rally held in March at Albert Park in central Auckland, tensions escalated between opposing groups, leading to a confrontation caught on social media.
Parker aborted the Wellington leg of her #Let WomenSpeak tour when her planned speech in Albert Park, Auckland, was drowned out by counter-protesters and she had tomato juice poured on her by a protester.
That matter is also still before the courts.
Her presence in New Zealand was highly controversial. Before her arrival, an online petition was launched calling for her to be kept out of the country.
About 150-200 people showed up in support of her Let Women Speak event but they were dwarfed by a much larger group of about 2000 counter-protesters.
Joseph Los’e joined NZME in 2022 as Kaupapa Māori Editor. Los’e was a chief reporter, news director at the Sunday News newspaper covering crime, justice and sport. He was also editor of the NZ Truth and prior to joining NZME worked for 12 years for Te Whānau o Waipareira.
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