13 Mar 2019

Businessman in underwear in complainant's room, court hears

5:34 pm on 13 March 2019

A court has heard a prominent New Zealander was found wearing only a pair of blue underwear in the room of his alleged sexual assault victim.

Outside the Auckland District Court on Albert Street.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The man, who has name suppression, is on trial in the Auckland District Court. He is accused of sexually assaulted two men and then trying to bribe one to snuff out a police complaint.

Two of his associates are also on trial defending one and three charges of attempting to dissuade a witness respectively.

The trial is now in its second week and the jury has heard from a young man who claimed the man got into his bed and groped his crotch when he was staying with him in October 2016.

The court heard the complainant, who had food poisoning, tried to phone a friend who was sleeping in a room next door for help during the alleged assault.

Today this friend told the court he was woken up by a phone call that night but could only hear the complainant "moaning".

"I couldn't really understand what was going on so I went to his door and I got no answer ... so I just went back to bed."

He said he was woken again, roughly half an hour later, to the complainant banging on his door.

"I went to the door and [the complainant is there]. I said 'what's the matter?' and he said '[the businessman] is in my room'."

The friend said he told the young man to stay where he was before moving down the corridor and calling out the businessman's name.

"I called out for [the businessman] three times and he wasn't coming out. I said '[businessman] get out here now'. From then [the businessman] came out."

The friend said he repeatedly asked what the defendant was doing in the room but he kept saying "it's very strange".

He said the businessman was wearing only a pair of blue underwear and soon returned to his own bedroom, saying "it's so strange".

The court heard the friend returned to his room to find the complainant in a foetal position behind his bedroom door.

He took him to the hospital where Dr Anthony Wiles medically examined the complainant and took genital swabs for forensic testing.

During cross-examination, the businessman's lawyer David Jones QC said the friend hadn't previously told police he had called out to the businessman three times.

He put to the man that he was fabricating details to make this story sound more believable, which the man denied.

It's the defence's case that the businessman was only trying to help the complainant when he was clearly unwell during his stay.

The trial before Judge Russell Collins and a jury is set down for four weeks.