'What does ... justice mean?'

A victim is questioning the justice system after the prominent man who touched her indecently was discharged without conviction and granted permanent name suppression in the Dunedin District Court.

Her husband, speaking on behalf of his wife, later expressed relief the matter was over ''but it is not really a win, is it?''.

''He still got away with it.''

The decision to grant the man name suppression angered the couple, who asked ''what does the word justice mean?'' 

The victim could barely say the name of the man when he earlier pleaded guilty to an indecency charge.

''I don't like [saying his name]. He doesn't deserve a name ... He is an animal,'' she told the Otago Daily Times last July.

''He is a dirty bastard and people should know.''

In August 2012, the man pleaded guilty in the Dunedin District Court to a charge of performing an indecent act intended to insult or offend a woman.

He was convicted and ordered to pay $5000 emotional harm reparation and $1500 in counselling costs.

More than a year later, his lawyer argued in the Court of Appeal in Wellington that his client, in a bid to avoid a public trial, pleaded guilty on the understanding he would be offered diversion or a discharge without conviction.

The advice, from his previous lawyer, that the Crown would not oppose the sentence options, however, was incorrect.

The matter was sent back to Dunedin.

After several delays, the case was heard yesterday.

The victim had previously told the ODT publication of the man's name ''might give me some satisfaction''.

She said the man had struck up a friendship with her husband, and when she met him she found him ''mature, interesting, quite knowledgeable and [he] spoke nicely''.

Over a three-year period, he visited their home half a dozen times, but always with someone else.

On the day of the incident, she was about to leave to do some shopping with her daughter, she said.

While her daughter went to get the mail from the end of the long drive, the man followed her inside and ''he just grabbed hold of me from behind'', she said.

''He was tall and towered over me. I said: 'What the hell are you doing?'

''And he said: 'But you are so lovely'. It was horrible. His hands were all over me,'' the woman said.

''He kept pushing his tongue in my mouth, pulling my head back and sticking his tongue down into my mouth and I was trying to push him off.

''His hands were all around my back, his hands down the back of my knickers.''

He confessed he had always liked her.

''I was totally shocked. It took me by surprise. But I wasn't scared because I knew my daughter was about.

''I was trying to push him off and he took my hand and put it on his what's-it and he said to me: 'This is what you are doing to me'.

''I pulled my hand off and said: 'Leave ... just go!''

Her husband then arrived home, and the men started chatting.

She elected not to say anything to her husband about the incident in case he ''overreacted''.

She made a cup of tea and then went to do the shopping, but as she said goodbye to her husband, her assailant stood behind him indicating ''a filthy mouth thing, indicating sex''.

''I just felt sick and walked out of the house.''

She later told her husband of the incident, and he sent the man an email with the subject line ''Mauling my wife'', warning him to stay away.

The following day the man rang wanting to speak to her, but never rang back.

During an interview with police, the police said they wanted her to return his call.

She was left alone to make the conversation and ''I was scared his wife was going to answer''.

The man asked her how she was doing and she replied: ''Not very good actually ... I feel dirty, I feel sick and feel very upset about your visit'', she said.

''He said: 'What visit?'

''I said: 'You know when you came around and did what you did. Why did you do what you did?'

''He said: 'I fancied you so much'.

''And I said: 'You have no right to do that; you have no right to touch me like that'.

''He said: 'Your husband sent me an email threatening me and I was going to email him back because I thought he might be a bit nasty'.

''And I said: ;You think?'

''He said: ;Why are you upset?'

''I said: ;Because what you did isn't normal'.

''So this hasn't happened to you before,'' he said, before he began talking about a family member.

Asked how the case had affected her, she said all she wanted was justice.

She said she had never received an apology, and before the trial had received a letter offering $5000.

''There is no remorse there; absolutely no remorse whatsoever.''

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Cylinder Testing ServicesDunedinSpecialist Trades
Cherry On The Top - Wedding Planner & Co-ordinatorDunedinParty Planning
Graham ElectricalRanfurlyElectricians
Kerremuir OrchardRoxburghOrchards