‘Clap’ tagger’s name still suppressed

The Invercargill tagger known as "Clap" is yet to accept police diversion and can still keep his identity a secret.

The 32-year-old man appeared in the Invercargill District Court yesterday morning.

Counsel Katarina Coote sought a further remand before entering pleas, but Judge Duncan Harvey directed not-guilty pleas be entered.

"I am not going to allow this to drag on," Judge Harvey said.

The defendant first appeared in August on four charges of wilful damage and five of intentional damage, and was later offered diversion.

Diversion is a scheme offered by police that allows mostly first offenders to avoid conviction for predominantly lower-level offences, on condition they accept guilt and abide by conditions.

The allegations against the defendant include one charge representing damage to 31 properties in the CBD.

Ms Coote indicated her client was not prepared to enter intimated guilty pleas to all of the charges.

She asked that interim name suppression continue, but Judge Harvey said her client’s reasons were insufficient.

When the defendant was recalled in the afternoon, a sworn affidavit was handed to the judge and the order keeping his identity under wraps was continued.

The defendant is next due to appear before the court in May.