Veitch faces seven assault counts

Tony Veitch gets set to talk to the media after appearing in the Auckland District court on...
Tony Veitch gets set to talk to the media after appearing in the Auckland District court on charges relating to the assault of ex partner Kristin Dunne-Powell. Photo by NZPA
A former broadcaster, game-show host and television anchorman appeared in court yesterday charged simply as Tony Veitch, unemployed, of Herne Bay.

The man who used to make thousands a night as a public speaker stepped into the dock after facing a tougher audience in the holding cells of the Auckland District Court.

Others who were in the cells told the Herald the former television and radio presenter was greeted with abuse and taunts when he entered the processing area.

One said Veitch was taken into a room, rather than a holding cell like everyone else.

As he walked by, people yelled things such as, "Did you do it? Come in here and we'll have a talk," one man said.

"He just walked past us, but he did cop it from everyone else. He walked into one of the other rooms and that was it."

The 34-year-old was subdued as he stood in the dock while his lawyer, Stuart Grieve, QC, a police prosecutor and Judge Allison Sinclair dealt with the formalities of his first appearance.

Allegations that Veitch attacked his former partner, Kristin Dunne-Powell, during a row in 2006, inflicting injuries including four broken vertebrae, have been circulating for more than a month.

But yesterday, seven charges were laid, spanning the period 2002 to 2006.

They include six allegations of assaulting a female and a seventh charge of injuring with reckless disregard. The most serious carries a maximum term of seven years in prison.

Veitch entered no plea, and was granted bail under conditions requiring him to live at his Herne Bay home, have no contact with Ms Dunne-Powell and surrender his passport.

He will return to Auckland District Court at the end of next month.

Mr Grieve said his client would fight the allegations.

"I can indicate from the outset that all these charges will be strenuously defended."

Most of those in the public gallery were journalists. They were allowed to report what happened, but were barred from taking photographs.

During his appearance, Veitch - who wore a jacket and an open-neck shirt - stared calmly straight ahead, occasionally glancing towards his family, including his wife of six months, Zoe, who sat in the back of the court.

Afterwards, he stood on the steps in front of the court building to make a careful statement.

"I'm shocked and saddened that it's got this far in terms of all the allegations and charges ... I'm determined more than ever to fight to clear my name," he said.

Veitch said he was devastated that the investigation had been so public.

"It has been incredibly difficult and incredibly frustrating watching this entire saga play out in public. I can honestly say I am absolutely relieved now there is clarity going forward and I know now what I'm up against."

Veitch promised there would be more revelations, as the matter was now before the court.

"I now look forward to every chance and possibility for all information and all of the facts to be played out in the appropriate forum. There are two sides to every story and I guarantee that will come out in the end."

The charges:

Injuring with reckless disregard: January 29, 2006.

Male assaults female: December 18, 2006, at Auckland.

Male assaults female: November 5, 2005, at Auckland.

Male assaults female: July 8, 2005, at Auckland.

Male assaults female: June 3-4, 2005, at Rotorua.

Male assaults female: Between April 14, 2003, and April 9, 2005, at Mangawhai.

Male assaults female: Between March 15, 2002, and April 19, 2003, at Auckland.

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