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Defence says assault an ‘aberration of character’

A career professional in the region facing a common assault charge has been discharged without conviction.

The person – who has name suppression – appeared in Masterton District Court on Tuesday.

Defence counsel James Elliot said the offending was a complete aberration of character and the person had since engaged in
significant self-examination.

“This represents for them a major fall from grace,” Elliot said.

“They have otherwise given decades of service in their profession and have an array of references.”

The charge arose from an incident at the defendant’s place of work.

The victim suffered minor physical injuries and psychological stress.

Judge Katie Elkin acknowledged the impact the defendant’s actions had caused.

She also noted that the defendant had no prior convictions and significant involvement in the community.

“You have shown considerable remorse, you recognised an overreaction and reckless conduct,” Elkin said.

Police did not oppose an application for a discharge without conviction.

Satisfied that the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the gravity of the offending, Elkin granted the discharge without conviction and ordered a reparation payment of $500 and additional court costs.

The person also applied for permanent name suppression, with Elliot telling the court that the publication of their identity had the potential to cause extreme hardship.

The prosecution did not oppose name suppression.

The victim and their family opposed name suppression and said they were being “tormented and ridiculed” as a result of the incident.

However, Elkin granted permanent name suppression, noting that publication of the defendant’s name would “cause issues which the discharge without conviction is designed to prevent”.

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