A candidate in the upcoming local body election accused of
assault has lost name suppression and can now be revealed as
former policeman Stuart McLachlan.
McLachlan is running for Napier City Council in the October
He appeared in Hastings District Court today and argued for
name suppression on the basis that publication of his name
would cause undue hardship.
Hawke's Bay Today Deputy Editor Mark Story was present in
court to oppose the suppression after Judge Bridget
Mackintosh would not accept his submissions last week.
McLachlan has been accused of assaulting a Lotto shop worker
in March of this year.
Last week McLachlan was offered diversion but declined "for
personal reasons", indicating he could not live with that.
He said he is running for council and had applied for a few
jobs which would likely be affected by the publication of his
McLachlan said he strenuously denies the allegations and
plans to defend himself.
Today in court, Judge Tony Adeane said the matter must be
dealt with in public but that McLachlan is presumed innocent
until proven guilty.
"The principal basis for seeking continued interim name
suppression is that to do otherwise would be inconvenient to
him in his political ambitions."
Judge Adeane said the principles of open justice meant this
was not a sufficient reason.
Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin said the decision was
good because it allowed Napier voters to make an informed
decision about whether or not to elect Mr McLachlan.
- Hawke's Bay Today