Stop suppression don’t abuse power

Rodney Hide writes on a sexual predator:

. . . His victim is left scared to be in her own home and is no longer the bubbly person she once was.

In August 2012, the man pleaded guilty to a charge of performing an indecent act intended to insult or offend a woman.

He was convicted and ordered to pay $5000 emotional harm reparation and $1500 in counselling costs. But earlier this year Judge David Saunders discharged him without conviction and gave him name suppression. In doing so the judge accepted the attacker had “carried a bit of a cross” in the time since his attack first came before the court.

A “bit of a cross”? And the victim? What does the judge think she’s had to carry? The man should be carrying a cross: he’s the offender.

I know something of this case. I certainly know the attacker. And I know some of our leading politicians know him and know, too, of his attitude and behaviour towards women. It was a topic of conversation when I was in Parliament. There are possibly other victims. I know one but she will never come forward.

Forget Rolf Harris, Maggie. He’s behind bars. Do the right thing and name this self-confessed offender in Parliament. Do what Parliamentary privilege allows: make right what our justice system got wrong.

Name the sexual predator under privilege and enable other possible victims to come forward. Some of your colleagues know who he is. Ask them. Or me.

You, Maggie, can do what no other New Zealander can do: you can name him.

His victim is clear: “He is a dirty b****** and people should know … For me, it’s not over – I want his name out there.” And of him? “There is no remorse there; absolutely no remorse whatsoever.” Sound familiar?

Hide is right that the woman has been wronged, first by the man and then again by a justice system which has suppressed his name.

But using parliamentary privilege to break suppression would be another wrong.

MPs can’t put themselves above the law by abusing their position no matter how much right is on their side.

A better course of action would be change the law as requested by the campaign to stop the suppression.

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