Former Queenstown bouncer Jonathan Dixon is appealing his
conviction and sentence over the "Tindallgate" CCTV incident
during the Rugby World Cup.
Dixon hit headlines after posting footage of English rugby
captain Mike Tindall - husband of the Queen's granddaughter
Zara Phillips - cavorting with a former girlfriend at a
Queenstown bar on YouTube.
The stunt landed him a sentence of community detention and
community service, after he was found guilty by an
Invercargill District Court jury of dishonestly accessing a
computer at the Base/Altitude bar, and obtaining CCTV footage
Dixon was working as contracted security at the time of the
Rugby World Cup.
The sentence, which includes four months' community detention
and 300 hours community service, was handed down in August
At a hearing in the Court of Appeal in Wellington today,
Dixon's lawyer, David More, argued the conviction was
incorrect because the digital footage featuring Tindall
copied by his client from the bar's computer was not
"He didn't deprive Base Queenstown [bar] of anything, he
simply created another copy of what they already had.
"It's an electronic work."
According to the Crimes Act, the "electronic work"copied by
Mr Dixon does not fall into the definition of what property
The presiding justices - Christine French, Rhys Harrison,
John Wild - questioned Mr More at length about his definition
of property, and how it related to electronic data.
Mr More also argued Dixon's sentence was excessive.
His "intention to make money out of the footage would not
have been unlawful had the footage been lawfully obtained,"
At Dixon's sentencing in the district court in August, Jude
Kevin Phillips said he had taken the footage intending to
sell it to a British newspaper, and when no-one would pay him
or co-operate with him, he posted it on YouTube, displaying a
"holier than thou"attitude.
Dixon had defended his actions during his trial by telling
the jury he wanted to "save the princess from being
Mr More also referred to evidence from the trial showing
Base/Altitude bar had profited from the ordeal.
A fine would have been a more appropriate sentence, he said.
Despite that, Justice Wild said he considered Dixon's actions
"a pretty gross breach of trust"of his employer, his
employer's client and possibly the bar's customers as well.
The Crown was also due to present its case this morning.
Tindall and Ms Phillips had their first bay, daughter Mia,
Crown lawyer Stephanie Edwards said a "common sense
proposition" was at the heart of the Crown case.
"The definition [of property] doesn't require it to be
decided whether something is tangible or intangible, it is
simply a raw definition which covers all forms of property,
whether they can be strictly categorised as one or the
It was also wrong to "distinguish between two forms of the
same thing" as Dixon wanted the court to do in his case, she
Ms Edwards also said the security company Dixon was employed
by had their contract terminated by Base/Altitude bar after
the events came to light.
- By Teuila Fuatai of APNZ