supporter of a disgraced senior naval officer who has been
dismissed from the navy says the Court Martial did not arrive
at the truth.
Commodore Kevin Keat, 55, was sentenced today after being
found guilty of five of eight charges at a Court Martial in
Trentham, north of Wellington.
The commodore had earlier denied the charges relating to
offences under the Armed Forces Discipline Act.
The counts cover breaching orders and other acts likely to
prejudice discipline or discredit the service.
Commodore Keat was stood down earlier this year from his
position as assistant chief in charge of personnel at Defence
Force Headquarters in Wellington during a high-level
While sentencing Commodore Keat, Judge Chris Hodson said he
had been "deceitful" and showed no remorse.
Commodore Keat's lawyer, Steven Taylor, had submitted his
client be allowed to remain working in the navy until his
contract expired next February and he could end his 37 year
career with some dignity.
But Judge Hodson said the breach of trust had been so great
it would be unfair to expect colleagues to work with him
He acknowledged the amount of "impressive" character
witnesses who spoke in support of Commodore Keat, but he said
none of those witnesses had been present at the hearing to
hear all the evidence.
One character witness, the head of air force Air Vice-Marshal
Peter Stockwell, said the commodore was "honest, personable
and very professional."
After the sentencing, Commodore Keat's friend, Major
(retired) Geoff Fox read a statement on behalf of his family
He said Commodore Keat continued to maintain his innocence
but regretted having the affair.
"It is often said that just because someone was found not
guilty, that does not mean they are innocent. Likewise, it
may also be said that on occasion, that just because a court
finds a person guilty, it does not mean the court has arrived
at the truth."
The commodore and his family had been through a "hellish"
time, and during the investigation into the allegations his
life had been put under a microscope, he said.
The commodore's other lawyer, Michael Bott said his client
was yet to decide on whether to appeal the conviction and/or
Commodore Keat's dismissal will take effect after the 21 days
he has to appeal.
The judge issued permanent suppression orders, which prevent
publishing some details including the extent of the affair
and the complainant's name.
The woman at the centre of the trial said the Commodore
exercised power and control over her employment conditions
when she tried to end their affair after several years.
The Commodore's defence was that the complainant's view was
different from that of his own, and he insisted he ended the
affair well before the woman claimed to have put a stop to