Name suppression laws outdated | The Jackal

2 Aug 2012

Name suppression laws outdated

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Police investigating a professional man for alleged sexual grooming of children want his identity revealed in case other girls have been targeted.
The Auckland man, who works with children, appeared in the Pukekohe District Court to face three criminal charges of grooming for sex, unlawful sexual connection with a child aged between 12 and 16, and offering to supply methamphetamine.

The 43-year-old, who made an urgent application to keep his name and occupation secret after being approached by the Herald on Monday, asked for the interim suppression order to continue.

Defence lawyer Simon Lance asked Judge Sharon McAuslan for more time to prepare evidence in support of the suppression application, which would be made on the grounds of extreme hardship.

Mr Lance, acting on behalf of colleague Paul Wicks, said lifting suppression would have a negative impact on the man's job prospects.

"Even if he is acquitted, publication of his name will have a tainting effect in the wider profession."

It's not just speculation by the Police that there could be other victims... Sexual predators often have many victims who for reasons such as shame, intimidation and manipulation, do not come forward.

It should be mandatory in such cases that the accused is named so that the Police can conduct a full investigation without hindrance. Secrecy after all is what the perpetrator relies on to conduct his crime.

If there is some sort of discrimination in the event of the man being named and then acquitted, he has grounds to make a formal complaint. But until some tainting effect in the wider profession is proven, such claims are mere speculation.

The victims rights in such cases is paramount.