Posted by BE on November 30th, 2011
There are only two stories on the front page of this morning’s Herald. One, headed Secrecy over ex-All Black’s child assault, occupies the left hand side of the page. The other, headed Attacked girl’s mum faces court, occupies the right hand side.
To be strictly accurate, the right hand story consists of nine column inches of text and a 10 x 6 inch photograph of Melissa Anderson, the mother of the attacked girl, appearing in the Waitakere District Court to face a charge of assault. Ms Anderson had slapped one of two girls who had attacked her 13-year-old daughter Summer, leaving her with a black eye, a welt on the side of her face and cuts to her eyelid.
The left hand side story begins:
Name suppression for a former All Black who yesterday pleaded guilty to child assault flies in the face of Parliament’s aims, says a legal expert.
The former rugby star is the latest in a long line of top sportsmen who have appeared in criminal courts and been allowed to keep their identities secret.
The justification for the name suppression is given later in the story:
He was reportedly given name suppression because of his standing in sporting circles and in the community as well as to protect the identity of the complainant.
Another former high-profile All Black appeared in a Wellington court last week and he, too, was given name suppression.
In that case, the 45-year-old was charged with assaulting his partner… resisting police and possession of cannabis.
The Herald goes on to list eight cases since 2002 in which prominent sportsmen were granted name suppression. The cases involved a range of offences from spousal and child assault to rape, abduction and sexual violation. Read the rest of this entry »