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James Shaw's attacker admits assault

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 27 May 2019, 12:54PM

The man accused of assaulting Green Party co-leader James Shaw has admitted the attack, but disputes some of the facts.

The man, 47, appeared in Wellington District Court today. He has been charged with injuring Shaw with intent, which he today pleaded guilty to.

He has requested a disputed facts hearing, though it is not known what part of the summary of facts he disagrees with.

He has had interim name suppression since first appearing in court several months ago. His lawyer today argued for that to continue for now.

Shaw was grabbed and hit in the face as he walked to work in central Wellington just before 8am in March.

He told media he'd suffered a small fracture in a bone in the eye socket.

"I feel fine. I have a bit of a sore head and a lot of people have these kinds of incidents occur and come off a lot worse than I do," he said at the time.

The attacker had looked "vaguely familiar" to him.

The accused left the court after his first appearance on March 15 telling media the attack had nothing to do with Shaw, and that he had simply copped it for a different issue that he would talk about more later.

The man's lawyer, Marty Robinson, earlier told the court the man had no plea to enter, and applied for interim name suppression because naming the man would cause severe hardship to himself, his business and his wife, given the widespread media coverage expected of the court appearance.

Despite the attack, Shaw said he did not believe the one incident dictated an increase in security for MPs.

However, he said he had long been concerned about "death threats" and social media abuse fielded by colleagues Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson.

He said he was touched by the messages of support he has had – "I wasn't anticipating that."

Earlier he posted a video to his Twitter followers sporting a black eye.

"I'm okay, I'm back at work and I'm very much looking forward to today's school strike for climate and I hope to see you there," he said.

He thanked the Wellington Free Ambulance, police and hospital staff for their care following the attack.

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