24 May 2010

Public servant cleared of assault charge

4:23 pm on 24 May 2010

A jury in the Wellington District Court has found a high-profile public servant not guilty of assaulting another person in the back of a car.

The man has been granted permanent name suppression. His occupation and other identifying details have also been permanently suppressed.

The man had been on trial in court over the past week on one charge of assault arising from an incident in central Wellington in August 2008.

Witnesses said they saw the man dragging the complainant down Manners Street before putting him into a car and punching him several times.

However, the complainant told the court that the man had never punched him.

The jury deliberated for three hours on Monday before finding the man not guilty.

During the trial, the man gave evidence that he struggled with the complainant while trying to remove a bag from him.

The Crown said the incident attracted attention from other members of the public and the punches were inflicted as punishment.

However, the defence said it would make no sense for the man to do that in front of an audience, no punches were thrown, and the Crown had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.