12 Jan 2011

Name suppression continued for party drug tourist

1:55 pm on 12 January 2011

A judge in the Napier District Court has been forced to continue name suppression for a Swedish tourist, convicted of four charges of supplying the party drug GHB.

The man, 29, was arrested about a fortnight before Christmas, after four people at a bar in Napier had their drinks spiked and had to be admitted to hospital.

Interim name suppression was granted when the accused first appeared in court, following a submission that publication could lead to the identification of the man's fiancee, who's under a witness protection programme.

On Wednesday, the accused pleaded guilty to charges of supplying GHB, but not guilty to assaulting a female.

Judge Geoff Rea says name suppression would normally lapse, but the order must continue because the defendant has taken a disputed facts case to the High Court.