Daniel Trevor Nelson, in the Alexandra District Court
A Clyde youth charged in connection with teenagers
allegedly being ''branded'' using a heated cigarette lighter
has admitted one charge but denied a second charge.
Daniel Trevor Nelson (17), shearer, appeared in the Alexandra
District Court yesterday before Judge Roy Wade on two charges
of injuring a person with reckless disregard for the safety
of others, between October 1 and November 30 last year. He
pleaded guilty to one charge but denied the second one,
involving a different complainant.
Judge Wade adjourned the hearing to February 7, for a status
hearing on the charge Nelson has denied, saying that both
matters should be dealt with together. The Otago Daily
Times applied to take an in-court photograph, which was
opposed by the defendant.
Counsel Justine Baird said he was 17 and objected to his
photo being published. The practice of ''branding'' using a
heated cigarette lighter was not uncommon, she said, but
there would be a ''certain amount of sensationalism'' if a
photo was published.
''We do not want to encourage the continuation of this
There would be no benefit in publishing a photograph, she
said. Judge Wade said the police were ''neutral'' on the
media application. Nelson objected because printing a photo
might lead to some embarrassment or even notoriety and ''I
accept that that is a possible consequence'', the judge said.
However, he granted the application, saying it was important
to uphold the principles of open justice and the defendant
had not sought name suppression.
There were good reasons why it should be permitted, Judge
Wade said. It might lead to other complainants coming forward
and it was fair to identify the defendant as perhaps someone
the public should be ''wary of''.
The public interest outweighed any of the concerns outlined,
Judge Wade said.