Justice New Zealand style – The old boy network is unbelievable, so says Simon Eriksen

The New Zealand Heralds Rob Kidd has been at it again. This time his loose lips writing style has enabled team LF to once again identify someone with name suppression. On this occasion it’s three Kiwi “celebrity butchers”.

It’s almost as if Rob Kidd is on a one man crusade to humiliate everyone with name suppression, or at least those amongst them that he doesn’t like, with a couple of Kiwi judges thrown in for good measure, or perhaps he’s just been snorting a little to much vacuum cleaner dust of late?

Notwithstanding that the case is one where some serious questions need to be put to the presiding judge, Grant Fraser DCJ, the defence barrister Stuart Grieve and the crown solicitors at Meredith Connell who are obviously responsible for the behind the scene extrajudicial fleecing victims of justice.

Somewhat ironically in capturing what has gone on with this case we are actually going to use a quote from one of the assailants, although we rather suspect that he had not intended seeing the inside of a New Zealand District Court when first coining the now somewhat appropriate prose;

“The old boy network is unbelievable,” – Simon Eriksen

Yes indeed “the old boy network is unbelievable”, in fact its truly remarkable, if not for any other reason that it’s obviously still alive, well and thriving in New Zealand’s putrefied 18th century justice system.

LF was of course first alerted to this case back in December 2014 when Fairfax NZ’s Sunday Star Time ran a piece. Since then the team had been using various systems to monitor local New Zealand media for any updates, but strangely enough nothing surfaced, until now that is. The fact that this very striaght forward criminal case has been allowed to remain undulate with for almost three years is is quite extraordinary in itself.

The actual “home invasion” and assaults that resulted in the police charging this trio was of course much older, dating back to early November 2012, but more about that later.

The New Zealand Herald’s Rob Kidd first took an interest in this case only last week as far as we can ascertain, obviously again briefed by his friendly police insiders when the result of the sentencing was known. Kidd opined

Prominent businessmen avoid conviction over attack on neighbour

3:43 PM Friday Sep 25, 2015

Robb Kidd

The men appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon after each earlier admitting a charge of common assault. Photo / File

Three prominent Auckland businessmen have avoided conviction and been granted permanent name suppression after attacking a neighbour.

The men appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon after each earlier admitting a charge of common assault.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail but the men walked away without penalty, aside from each having to pay the victim $1500.

The court heard the trio ran a successful business, which was jeopardised after details of the allegations emerged.

Judge Grant Fraser said the men had to engage in a “significant public relations exercise” and there was evidence that those efforts would have to escalate with publicity about their identities.

Stuart Grieve, QC, defence counsel for two of the men, placed references before the court from a member of the clergy who spoke of their integrity, and from a charity which attested to their stellar fundraising efforts.

He gave details of a “confidential business plan” which may require the defendants to travel overseas to explore untapped markets.

The impact on celebrities linked to the defendants would also be serious, Mr Grieve said.

A conviction would heavily restrict their business growth and that consequence was disproportionate to the gravity of the offending, he argued.

Judge Fraser agreed and granted applications to have the men discharged without conviction and to have their identities suppressed.

The partner of the victim was so exasperated she left the courtroom. Her mother sat open-mouthed.

The incident took place in one of Auckland’s most salubrious suburbs three years ago.

Judge Fraser refused to read the summary of facts — a practice usually followed at sentencing — but the court heard the assault followed a verbal dispute about noise.

The men believed their victim was armed and used “self-defence” to try to disarm him, the court heard.

Mr Grieve accepted his clients used excessive force but said their offending was “understandable in the circumstances”.

The victim suffered injuries to his head and arm. The judge said it was “no doubt a terrifying and harrowing event” for the man assaulted.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11518977

Kidd’s article cantained a number of facts that immediately grabbed our attention, setting off alarm bells in fact, probably the most significant of which was a small reference that Kidd made to the behaviour of Grant Alastair Fraser DCJ the presiding District Court judge;

Judge Fraser refused to read the summary of facts — a practice usually followed at sentencing — but the court heard the assault followed a verbal dispute about noise. – Rob Kidd (NZ Herald)

Clearly then, it follows that if Fraser “refused”, then there must have been a challenge by Kidd or perhaps someone else present in court when the judge made this very strange departure from sentencing protocol, the failure to include the summary of facts in the preamble of his sentencing. Kidd is of course right to say that this is the “usual practice”

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Helen and Josh Emett, whose Chef Series sous vide prepared meals are produced in partnership with The Neat Meat Company.

This could and would have occurred for only one reason, which is in itself extremely disturbing, but again, more about that later.

Back in December 2014, two years after the alleged home invasion and assault the case was first reported when the three accused opted for trial by jury, in our opinion also qiute an unusual decision in the circumstance.

At that time Fairfax’s Kelly Dennett must have been sitting in the press box, or tipped off by the victims or their legal advisors, as Dennett then penned the following story for the Sunday Star Times;

Butchery brothers face assault charges

By Kelly Dennett

December 14 2014

Three brothers behind one of New Zealand’s most successful new butchery businesses will stand trial in the new year following allegations of an aggravated home invasion.

Simon, Timothy and William Eriksen have been charged with four counts of assault and one of burglary following a late-night incident in Ponsonby in 2012.

The trio are directors of The Neat Meat Company, a successful and award-winning butchery that provides Auckland restaurants with meat from its central Ponsonby location and also exports.

Neat Meat was established by the Eriksens in the early 2000s with co-shareholder Andy Lam and has since formed a business partnership with celebrity chef Josh Emett to provide meat for Emett’s Chef Series food range.

Neat Meat has been a darling of the newspaper business pages, and was a finalist in the 2012 University of Auckland Entrepreneurs’ Challenge, competing for access to $1 million in funding to fast-track growth. But behind the scenes, the brothers have made a series of court appearances ahead of next month’s trial.

Alleged victims Tony Wong and long-time partner Cecilia Edmond say that, after a lengthy police investigation, they’re looking forward to their day in court. A four-day hearing has been set down for the Auckland District Court

The pair said that on November 2, 2012, they were at their Ponsonby home having what they described as a low-key 40th birthday celebration for Wong when, they allege, they were attacked by four men.

Earlier in the night Auckland Council contacted Wong and Edmond about a noise complaint.

Edmond said her family had been playing soft music, and let off some fireworks earlier in the night, but their “birthday party” consisted of just three family guests and their two children, asleep in the next room. About half an hour after they were issued with the noise warning, the pair said, there was a knock at their door, then four men burst in.

The men moved outside and neighbours called police, Edmond said.

Police charged three men with assault in March last year. They were bailed and ordered not to contact their alleged victims.

Police told Edmond and Wong the men said they had never entered the house, would never hit women, and have pleaded not guilty to the charges, electing a jury trial.

The Eriksens’ lawyer, Eb Leary, said his clients had no comment to make. “Of course not – there’s a jury trial pending,” he said, before hanging up.

Defence lawyer Andrew Speed also contacted the newspaper and identified himself as Timothy Eriksen’s lawyer. He said his client “absolutely denied” the allegations and warned: “Don’t print lies, or I’ll come after you personally.”

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/64135985/butchery-brothers-face-assault-charges

Now back to the judge’s apparent refusal to include the summary of facts when sentencing. According to Rob Kidd either the Judge, Frazer DCJ, or Counsel for the defence, Stuart Grieve, had made the submission;

The men believed their victim was armed and used “self-defence” to try to disarm him, the court heard – Rob Kidd (NZ Herald)

It’s not clear from Kidd’s account who it was that actually raised the issue of “self-defence”, whether it was Stuart Grieve, pleading mitigation, or Frazer in summing up, or both; Frazer perhaps having decided to use it in a futile attempt to grant an air of respectable credibility to his otherwise outrageous sentence.

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Simon Eriksen, a King’s College old boy, draws regularly on his network from school to grow, and now it seem obtain “get out of jail free cards”

What is clear however, especially when reading Kelly Dennett’s article (above), is that had Frazer acceded to the demand to include the summary of facts in his sentencing then the self-defence angle would have looked, at best, decidedly shonky.

The fact that readers now have Dennett’s article wherein it was claimed in 2012 that a home invasion had taken place, that the three accused had forced their way, uninvited, into the home of the two victims and assaulted the pair, then, ipso facto, the three men certainly could not have held any genuine “self-defence” concerns at all, at least prior to their unlawful entry into the house, the “home invasion”.

If one of the victims, on the other hand, had only then armed themselves, which is a far more plausible proposition, if one is to believe the facts as set out in Dunnett’s article, then it would more likely have been after or whilst being assaulted by the trio, in the victims own “self-defence”, at which point the three men, again more than likely, decided to make good their escape, also for good reason then deciding to remain outside the house until police arrived.

The victims in this case obviously had good reason to fear for their safety, again somewhat strangely the judge eludes to this fact at least once; that is of course according to Kidds NZ Herald article:

The victim suffered injuries to his head and arm. The judge said it was “no doubt a terrifying and harrowing event” for the man assaulted. – Rob Kidd (NZ Herald)

The fact that Judge Fraser then, despite the attack having been “a terrifying and harrowing event” for the victims has very strangely decided to inexplicably place emphasis on a so-called Council noise complaint indicates, at least to us, that the judge was very likely in on this courtroom scam – that Fraser DCJ knew exactly what he was doing.

Clearly, the council noise complaint had nothing whatsoever to do with the allegations before the court, or for that matter the assault charges the three accused had originally been facing.

In fact given that, at least it seems this way to us, the council did not even dispatch a Ranger or Inspector to verify the noise complaint, but rather telephoned the victims on the basis of a telephone complaint the Council had received from the assailants, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the victims had in fact been rowdy or acted in anyway unreasonably prior to the unlawful entry and assaults.

A competent and or impartial judge would have been completely cognoscent of this reality.

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Tim and William Eriksen.

Therefore, with the above in mind, the only available inference that can be drawn from the judge’s inclusion of an obviously completely immaterial side-issue in his summary at sentencing, is that he himself was of a mind to use the event as some form of mitigation for the accused’s criminal actions. This behaviour’s more commonly referred to as a fucking ruse, a wood-duck, a decoy or a smoke screen.

This then, when combined with Fraser’s inexplicable departure from protocol, his deliberate failure, and on being challenged, apparent refusal, to include the summary of facts, can only lead to, at least to an independent observer, the conclusion that the judge had either colluded with the crown prosecutors prior sentencing, or in the alternative, had for reasons unknown to anyone other than himself, decided independently, to grant his quite extraordinary judicial favour to the three accused “celebrity butchers”.


THEIR DAY IN COURT, ONLY TO BE SCREWED: Tony Wong and Cecilia Edmond at their home in Ponsonby, Auckland in 2012

This is of course better known as judicial corruption. This fact could account for one of the victims obvious distress at Fraser DCJ’s completely unscrupulous behaviour, Completely understandable, anyone in that position would be gobsmacked at the shear audacity of Grant Fraser’s decision:

The partner of the victim was so exasperated she left the courtroom. Her mother sat open-mouthed

There are many other concerns we here at LF hold on the prosecutorial and judicial conduct surrounding this case.

The fact that a jury trial was for some inexplicable reason sidelined, again favouring the accused, that the “aggravated” assault charges were then altered at some point prior to trial, reduced to the much lesser indictments of common assault, again favouring the accused alone, which the three men had obviously agreed to plead guilty to. All of which had obviously been “negotiated” behind closed doors, very likely by a so far unidentified crown lawyer working for Auckland’s Crown solicitors, Meredith Connell.

This case absolutely reeks of corruption. We know for a fact that Meredith Connell as a firm are rotten to the core, but why was it that this case in particular “dealt with” corruptly?

Why were these three men then treated as a protected species, granted extraordinary favours by a District Court judge?

This is where the use of Simon Eriksen’s “The old boy network is unbelievable,” quote becomes very interesting indeed, perhaps offering up hidden gems, or at least more than had originally been intended when it was first included in the New Zealand Herald journo Gill South’s article back in October 2010:

Serving the discerning meat lover

By Gill South

October 11, 2010

In 2008, Neat Meat founder Simon Eriksen was about to open stores around the country.

Retail had seemed a natural evolution seven years after starting the fast-growing meat wholesaler to the hospitality industry. But he was called at the eleventh hour to a meeting with his lawyer and accountant.

They warned him that the timing was lousy for the economy and advised him to “pick lower hanging fruit”.

“Since then we have done retail in our own premises at 47, The Strand and developed our online retail with our website,” says Eriksen. Two years’ later, the Neat Meat online business is well established and growing at a rate of 25 per cent monthly. And the company has attracted regular advice from a loyal customer, Sir Michael Fay.

Neat Meat, with 34 staff, is a family business. The three Eriksen brothers grew up on the Waikoko station near Gisborne. Simon Eriksen heads the business, William does the sales side and Tim the IT and systems.

Co-shareholder Andy Ham is in charge of operations and finance. The business was set up in 2001 when Eriksen saw a gap in the market for supplying top-quality meat to New Zealand consumers and restaurants.

“Neat Meat sits between the meat industry and the hospitality industry,” says Eriksen.

The New Zealand lamb and beef market had a high standard of export quality meat cuts, but the domestic market felt hard done by for what was on offer.

“The good stuff is here,” says Eriksen, “but you’ve got to know the right plant and the right regions.”

In the beginning, Neat Meat, which now sources the bulk of its meat half from Affco NZ and half from Anzco Foods, approached the NZ Angus Association about developing Angus Pure, a brand of the highest-quality beef available: wholly organic, pH tested and aged for a number of weeks. Eriksen created the 6 Star System which identifies whether the animal has been grass or grain fed, and is grown with organic farming methods.

The business now provides a wide range of different quality cuts of beef, lamb and pork to its restaurant and hotel customers including Simon Gault’s restaurants, The Jervois Steakhouse and Euro, as well as The French Cafe and hotels such as SkyCity, the Langham and Accor.

Neat Meat bought Harmony, which produces free range pork, a couple of years ago. Eriksen has a soft spot for pigs, especially wild boar.

When he went to London for his OE, with his agri-business degree from Massey University, he set up a couple of wild boar farms on the outskirts of London and sold the meat to Waitrose. He now has two wild boar farms in New Zealand, and sells the Razorback brand.

Nine years on, Neat Meat has an annual turnover of $14.5 million and has expanded to Hong Kong and Australia. Eriksen, a King’s College old boy, draws regularly on his network from school to grow.

“The old boy network is unbelievable,” he says.

He went to school with his accountant, Andrew Harris from Grant Thornton. And it’s no coincidence Neat Meat is next to Juicy Rentals in the Strand. His friend from King’s Tim Alpe runs it. Eriksen is also talking to former King’s boy, Rick Knight from online wine business Blackmarket.co.nz about joint marketing.

Eriksen tries to keep his business performing to best practice. Neat Meat has a board which includes the shareholders, brothers, Simon, William, Tim, Andy Ham and and one non-shareholder, Dan Gilbert, who is national sales manager of National Foods’ Australia. The board meets monthly and the company’s National Bank manager and accountant attend every two months but speak every other day.

The small business has had to weather the recession like everyone else. Restaurants have had a quiet time but Eriksen just stepped up his business customers to make up for the shortfall.

“Most of these guys cut back by 20 per cent, so we picked up 20 per cent more business.”

“Our business is quite broad,” he adds. Neat Meat is supplying the dominant airline caterer LSG, as well as Eden Park, Ellerslie Convention, Austins, and Dawsons.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10679569

So Eriksen, “a King’s College old boy, draws regularly on his network from school to grow”, that is indeed an interesting admission. As is the list of who’s who in Gill South’s New Zealand Herald article above.

In fact, it’s all very interesting, more so now with the very favourable treatment Eriksen and Co have just received from the Crown Solicitor, Meredith Connell, and Grant Frazer DCJ.

We know that the Eriksen’s grew up in one of the most corrupt towns in New Zealand, a small city on the North Islands East Coast. A town where the local legal circle and police often conspired to pervert justice. For starters that’s obviously just one factor indicating that these blokes know their way around a legal problem.

There’s also the small matter of the “network”, the so-called “old boys” club, which these people have used extensively in the past, often gloating about it.

After all, Eriksen himself has apparently admitted to calling in favours, so just who are the people behind the “Eriksen brand”?

Were there in fact lawyers and Judges that numbered amongst this “old Boys” club? Does District Court Judge Frazer have his aged roast Beef home delivered to Palmerston North? Does his wife buy her meat off this particular trio of celebrity gourmands?

Given the judges extraordinary behaviour these are all valid questions, they are certainly concerns that need to be raised publically and investigated further, because frankly, there has to be a reason why Grant Fraser, a resident New Palmiston North Judge, was even assigned this case in the first place, and then saw fit to grant this group extraordinary leniency, with name the suppressions thrown in to boot.

The earlier threats from the infamous Drug lord Mr Asia’s side-kick Eb Leary and legal associate Andrew Speed, whilst amounting to little more than a lawyers fart, are also interesting;

The Eriksens’ lawyer, Eb Leary, said his clients had no comment to make. “Of course not – there’s a jury trial pending,” he said, before hanging up.

Defence lawyer Andrew Speed also contacted the newspaper and identified himself as Timothy Eriksen’s lawyer. He said his client “absolutely denied” the allegations and warned: “Don’t print lies, or I’ll come after you personally.”

We can of course understand Mr Speed’s “Don’t print lies of I’ll come after you personally”. New Zealand’s newspapers do have a particularly bad habit of printing bullshit, especially when the journo involved or his or her favoured police associates have it in for the target of their interest.

LF on the other hand do like to stick to the truth, more often than not it’s far more interesting than the spin.

So in this case we are going to spend a little time getting to the truth of the matter. Starting with the fact that this trio have indeed pleaded guilty of assaulting their victim.

As a result of which, had normal circumstances prevailed, they would not have been granted name suppressions, in effect, cutting through Fraser pitiful legal speak, granted solely to enable them to make even more money.

Had Normal circumstance prevailed, they would also have stood trial before a jury of their peers, although that may have prove troublesome for them, also facing the charges that were originally laid by police.

Had normal circumstances prevailed, crown law would not have conspired to screw the victims in this case, by entering into some sort of clandestine plea-bargaining arrangement behind the victim’s backs with the extremely well remunerated council for the defence.

Had normal circumstances prevailed, the judge would not have applied the sentence he did, but rather a sentence that was in-line with the sentences handed out to every other offender, rich or poor, black, white or brindle, which had committed offences similar in nature.

Had normal circumstance prevailed, the judge would have had absolutely no need to conceal the summary of facts in this case, having done so, save those same facts would have shown his sentence to have been wholly inadequate and arrived at via the complete manipulation of justice.

Of course good old judge Grant Alastair Fraser has always been a bit of a soft touch, particularly when it comes to open justice and when passing sentence on the wealthy or well known.

Judge Grant Fraser’s reasons for banning publication of this man’s name and occupation are breathtaking in their flimsiness, placing too much weight on the interests of the offender, and too little on the interests of the public. – Michael Cummings 2010 (Editor Manawatu Standard)

Frazer was appointed to the bench way back in January 1998, after an unremarkable career as a lawyer in Palmerston North

Judge Fraser is also no stranger to criticism, having caught the ire of the public and the media for similar if not identical behaviour long before now.

Those who hold a high social status must accept that with it comes greater scrutiny when they behave in a manner unbecoming that status. There cannot be one set of rules for them, and another for everyone else – Michael Cummings 2010 (Editor Manawatu Standard)

In fact, back in February 2010 Fraser had the privilege of being the subject of an editorial in his hometown, the Fairfax owned provincial newspaper the Manawatu Standard.

The editor at the time, Michael Cummings penned a piece that pretty much summed up the public opinion at the time, when Fraser had acted in much the same way, a complete disregard for the victims, the public expectations surrounding the type of offending and the well settled centuries old principles of open justice in we have in common within the Westminster system.

In an editorial aimed squarely and unambiguously at the behaviour of District Court Judge Grant Fraser. An editorial that could just have easily been penned following Fraser’s latest departure from reality. Cummings opined:

Editorial: Open justice gets thrown aside

6th February 2010

By: Michael Cummings

OPINION: If there were any lingering doubts that the guidelines for suppressing names in this country needed strengthening, the case detailed in today’s Manawatu Standard should shatter them.

The creeping secrecy pervading our justice system has long since passed what the public should accept as a reasonable restriction on their freedom of expression in order to safeguard the administration of justice.

The decision to suppress the name of a prominent Manawatu man convicted of downloading pornographic images of children is a salient example of how the principle of open justice has been reduced to little more than a passing mention before a judge abdicates his or her duty to ensure our public court system belongs to the people.

Judge Grant Fraser’s reasons for banning publication of this man’s name and occupation are breathtaking in their flimsiness, placing too much weight on the interests of the offender, and too little on the interests of the public.

For Judge Fraser to say publication of the man’s identity was not required because none of the thousands of children pictured were New Zealanders is logically outrageous. Such an argument requires one to believe this man investigated the background of each of his young victims to determine they were not from this country. Does Judge Fraser believe that had the man known the children were New Zealanders he would have not downloaded the images?

But what was most alarming about Judge Fraser’s decision was his view that the offender’s status in society should afford him special protection from publicity.

Judge Fraser said: “The punitive consequences are more extensive for you than for others, particularly in light of your position, your achievements and the consequential outcome.”

It is this statement, above all others, that exposes the judge’s decision not only as poor, but as an insult to the central tenet of justice – that it applies to everyone equally.

Publicly revealing an offender’s name will have different consequences for individuals depending on their life situation. It is not for the courts to attempt to manipulate those consequences to make them equal for everyone. It might sound paradoxical, but justice isn’t always fair.

Those who hold a high social status must accept that with it comes greater scrutiny when they behave in a manner unbecoming that status. There cannot be one set of rules for them, and another for everyone else.

The Law Commission has recommended the Government raises the threshold for name suppression and sets clearer guidelines on how it should be applied.

What happened in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday might not have exposed the identity of a sexual deviant, but it has revealed how important it is for the Government to adopt those recommendations.

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/opinion/3300161/Editorial-Open-justice-gets-thrown-aside

Perhaps not so strangely, New Zealand Herald Journo Rob Kidd also cut his teeth whilst working with many of Fairfax’s provincial rags, so it would come as no surprise if this background was the root of his distain for Judge Grant Fraser now. Obviously no one can possibly know for certain why Kidd has embarked on this crusade. Having said that however back in 2012 Kidd himself also penned another report involving Fraser:

No conviction over spectacular boat crash

By Rob Kidd

Wed, 26 Nov 2014

A spectacular maritime collision will cost an Auckland finance company executive more than $11,000 but he has avoided a conviction.

John Robert Balgarnie, 65, was sailing his Riviera-style launch called Itsu near Waiheke Island in March when he smashed into a dinghy.

The victims Glenn and Janette Andrews, who had just caught a kingfish, said their small boat was “crushed like a tin can” and Maritime New Zealand said the incident could easily have been fatal.

Balgarnie was subsequently charged with operating a ship in a manner which caused unnecessary danger.

After admitting the charge, the former CFO of Fay Richwhite was discharged without conviction by Judge Grant Fraser at Auckland District Court today.

Balgarnie’s lawyer Matthew Flynn provided information in support of the application centred around his client’s health problems, which the judge described as “terminal”.

Judge Fraser said he was in no doubt the stress of a conviction would exacerbate the medical issues and may also restrict his travel overseas for treatment.

The court heard how Balgarnie may travel to Australia or the United States in future.

The police were neutral to his bid to avoid conviction, on the condition the defendant paid reparation and wrote them a letter of apology.

Judge Fraser ordered Balgarnie pay the victims $11,549 and provide the letter within a week.

The Andrews’ boat was so wrecked Auckland Maritime Police had used it as an educational display. The outboard motor was also damaged beyond repair.

“We lost our keys, our cellphones, we lost so much and we have had to replace it all bit by bit,” Mrs Andrews said.

Auckland Police Maritime Unit senior constable Garry Larsen said the crash could have been much worse.

“It was a serious incident which could have resulted in death. Look out for other craft, the message is clear,” Larsen said. “This could have happened to anyone.”

The court heard how Balgarnie – a boatie of about 40 years – had never been involved in such an incident before and “it was simply a case of not seeing the vessel”.

Source: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/325073/no-conviction-over-spectacular-boat-crash

But then again Grant Fraser DCJ’s penchant for leniency, especially when it comes to New Zealand’s wealthier citizenry and or celebrities could also have its roots in his own near brush with media manufactured infamy;

NZ judge convicted of careless driving

6:48 PM Friday Apr 24, 2009

A district court judge, based in Palmerston North, has been convicted of careless driving causing injury and ordered to pay $1800 to the victim.

The Wellington District Court was told Grant Alistair Fraser, 56, collided with a motor scooter at an intersection in Tauranga on January 19, injuring the rider.

Fraser pleaded guilty in court today.

He was ordered to pay the victim $1800 emotional harm reparation and disqualified from driving for six months.

The victim suffered a broken leg and cracked ribs.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10568517

The fact is that Judge Fraser is either a complete numb-nuts, corrupt, grossly out of touch with the real world or a variable combination of all three, depending of course, on which case of his is being called into question.

Team LF are going to run with number three, the variable argument, simply because Grant Fraser, incompetent or not, had to have been fully aware that he had been sprung when challenged, yet he then continued to refuse to include the summary of facts in his judgement.

As aforesaid Judge Fraser had to have known that the facts surrounding the unlawful entry and assault, the disingenuous spurious claims of fear and self-defense where not at all supported by the facts, nor was the men’s innocence, hence their guilty plea’s and as such did not in anyway justify the completely insufficient sentence Fraser saw fit to pass.

That said either the judge was wilful when belligerently refusing to read the summary of facts in open court or he was knowingly acting corruptly to pervert justice. We here at LF suspect it was more than likely the later.

Fraser’s reasoning just does not stack up, his sympathy for the perpetrators and their business is bordering on the obscene. Then having acknowledged the claimed likely financial impact on the perpetrators, in almost the same breath, finds that a mere $1500, a total of $4500 should cover the victims costs and any damages.

All of that is before Fraser decides to grant this trio a discharge without conviction and permanent name suppression. Now remember, just like the Graham Thorne and Stephen Dudley case’s these three perpetrators had pleaded guilty, there was no reasonable doubt whatsoever that needed to be taken into account.

There seemed, in addition, to be a complete absence of contrition or remorse by these celebrity butchers. Under this same set of circumstances we are given to wonder how three adolescent Maori boy’s would have faired; would judge Fraser have demonstrated the same extraordinary degree of leniency, complete with name suppressions? Somehow we seriously doubt it!

LF will be investigating this case further and will come back in time with what we are able to establish had occurred and or the “old boy” connections involved.

In the meantime readers can assist the LF team by doing a spot of digging for yourselves then sending the results to us. Perhaps there are connections to Auckland Grammar school, or local rugby clubs, or law firms that have been concealed. Perhaps the crown solicitor who dealt with this case went to school with one of the accused? Perhaps the Crown Solicitor purchased his or her meat from the trio?

Who knows at the moment, but one thing is certain, there has to have been more that just idiocy behind Judge Grant Fraser’s latest judicial balls-up, after all he had already been put on notice back in 2010 that his kidd-glove preferential treatment of the rich, famous and privileged in New Zealand society was abhorrent, completely unacceptable in fact.

Judge Grant Fraser’s decision should be immediately appealed by the victims or their legal representatives. Fuck going through Meredith Connell, the crown solicitors responsible, they just cannot be trusted, far to many finger’s in unknown pies, each and every one of the bastards a member of the same “old boys” network that the Eriksen’s have obviously so successfully been able to use to grow their business and escape justice!













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