Monday, February 15, 2010

Was this a dodgy name suppression order?

I’m no lawyer, but I think that the stated reasons from Judge Grant Fraser to grant permanent name suppression to the famous nameless sicko from Palmerston North, who downloaded about 30,000 pornographic images, are questionable.

Judge Fraser said he granted permanent name suppression to protect the man's family, his mental state, his wife's job and his ability to rehabilitate. I’m wondering if that was actually the case. Because the main stated reason appears to be because none of the offending images were of New Zealanders – or the judge was at least apparently told they weren’t.
Therefore publicity in my view is not required to flush out any potential offenders or to enable members of the community to keep themselves safe from you
But if these images were of New Zealanders, would that mean Fraser would have allowed his name to be published? If so, so much for his argument about the man's family, his mental state, his wife's job and his ability to rehabilitate. If not, so much for his argument to keep the community safe.

Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk disagreed with Judge Fraser that name suppression was needed to protect the man’s family, saying the man’s children were well informed about the offending. He said this name suppression could be seen as protecting a person in a privileged position. Yet he refused to appeal the suppression order, citing among a few things, the fact that he had children, and that the court knew what the consequences of a conviction were.

[redacted after reading the judgement]

The man is undergoing therapy to treat his paraphilia. He didn’t just download 30,000 images – he transferred some to an external hard drive and distributed them through the Internet.

I’m wondering how well Vanderkolk knew the famous nameless man. And I’m wondering if this famous nameless man has seen his GP recently. I hear there has been a recent shortage in Palmerston North.

Like I said, I’m no lawyer, and have not read any court documents on this case, but would be keen to get any comment from lawyers or law students on the stated reasons for suppression as outlined above.




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