18 Aug 2017

All Blacks bugging: security guard's charge dismissed

8:04 pm on 18 August 2017

All Blacks security guard Adrian Gard who says he found a bugging device at the team's Sydney hotel a year ago has had his charge of public mischief dismissed.

Gard had pleaded not guilty to a charge he made a false claim to police by reporting the bug had been found.

It's alleged the bug was found in a chair in the team's meeting room at the Intercontinental in Double Bay, before last year's opening Bledisloe Cup match.

The magistrate said the alternate hypothesis that someone else could have planted the bug could not be ruled out.

The prosecution had alleged the device was never in the chair and that Mr Gard made it up.

However, Gard was found guilty of a second charge relating to carrying out a security operation without a licence.

He will appear in court on 1 September 1 for sentencing.

New Zealand Rugby said it was happy the matter was finished.

"This has been a truly strange case.

"We accept the finding of the court, and consider the matter closed. We hope people move on from this issue."

Earlier in the day, All Blacks captain Kieran Read gave character evidence via telephone to defend Gard.

The court previously heard the All Blacks only decided to alert police about the bug five days after its purported discovery, once they knew the story was going to break in the media.

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