Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Name Suppression'

One law for top sportsmen, another for an ordinary mum. The injustice of it makes my blood boil!

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 »


On the Pleasures and Perils of Celebrity – Reflections on the Martin Devlin Affair

On the whole being famous is pretty good. I was on-and-off famous in New Zealand from 1967 (Town & Around, Gallery) to 1999 (Edwards on Saturday,  Fair Go, Top of the Morning). Mostly it was nice. Being recognised in the street, having people stop and tell you how much they enjoy your programme, getting special service in restaurants and shops, having your photo in all the newspapers and magazines, exercising a degree of influence on your own behalf and on behalf of others, being paid megabu…  

Well no, the money wasn’t great. In 1969-70 when I was the most famous broadcaster in the country, I was earning $7,000 a year for appearing on Gallery and producing and hosting Checkpoint. Things improved marginally on Fair Go, but I probably wasn’t earning a great deal more than the average household income. The ‘star system’ still hadn’t been invented in New Zealand.  

I have no complaints. I wasn’t in it for the money. Like most people in the entertainment industry, I was in it for the applause that comes with fame and serves to bolster the fragile egos of the most confident looking people. Fame is itself fragile and transitory, but at the time it’s really, really nice. (Providing you can handle it of course. But that’s another story.)  

So the pleasures of being famous are considerable and real, and the financial rewards in 2011, even in a small country like New Zealand, substantial.  

Sounds like a pretty good gig.   Read the rest of this entry »


The Winehouse Submission – Thoughts on Celebrity Justice

Pic: John Selkirk

Pic: John Selkirk

Pic: John McCombe

Pic: John McCombe

Pic: John Selkirk
Pic: John Selkirk







The issue of ‘celebrity justice’ is in the news again – ‘famous’ Kiwis getting name suppression in criminal trials because publicity for their offending might  cause them ‘unreasonable hardship’. (I put ‘famous’ in quotes because when I was told the names of the defendants in two recent cases, I was none the wiser as to who they were.)

As Phil Taylor demonstrates in an excellent piece in this morning’s Herald, this is a complex question. On the face of it, the principle that we are all equal before the law should apply. The TV star and  the All Black should receive the same treatment from the justice system as everyone else.

I accept this principle. But should ‘the same treatment’ not include the same punishment for the same crime? I would have thought that it should. Read the rest of this entry »