14 Aug 2014

Sex abuser's name to remain secret

8:27 pm on 14 August 2014

A sexual abuse victim who has lost a case to make her abuser's name public says decisions about name suppression should not be decided by the offender.

Anne-Marie Forsyth and Marie Beaumonth had asked the Christchurch District Court to lift the name suppression, and that of the man who sexually abused them when they were children.

The court has decided that the women can be named, but the man cannot because he opposes it being lifted.

The women took the man to court in 1995 over historical sexual abuse and he was convicted on five counts and sentenced to a year in jail. At the time, the man was given interim name suppression to protect the identities of the complainants.

In his ruling, Justice Paul Kellar said the women's names can now be published, but he has no jurisdiction to change the name suppression order on the offender's name.

Justice Kellar says a just outcome may be to have the case reconsidered by a higher court.

Mrs Forsyth says victims of sexual abuse should have the right to have their name suppression and that of their abuser lifted after the conclusion of the trial if they choose to.

She says sometimes it takes people a long time to feel ready to have their name made public.

Mrs Forsyth says she will seek a review from the High Court.

The women's lawyer, Nikki Pender, says laws around name suppression are not working in the way they were intended and there is now the ridiculous situation where the abuser has name suppression in his own right.