23 Oct 2020

Dilworth accused's name suppression drops, but appealed

2:41 pm on 23 October 2020

One of the men accused in relation to allegations of historic sexual offending at Dilworth School has lost name suppression, but still can't be named yet.

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Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The man in his 70s is charged with four counts of indecently assaulting three different boys under the age of 16 at the Auckland boarding school, in the 1980s.

The man had received interim name suppression through to next month but the Crown and media entities, including RNZ, challenged it in the Auckland High Court.

Justice Woolford today overturned the District Court ruling and said the threshold for name suppression had not been met.

However the man's lawyer Claire Farquhar immediately indicated an appeal of that ruling, and therefore interim name suppression continues until that is heard.

In making the case that the man's suppression should be lifted, Crown lawyer Brian Dickey said publication of the name of other defendants related to Dilworth had led to other victims coming forward to make complaints.

He said the man went on to teach at other schools, and therefore if others had been abused it was right that his identity be publicised.

"At some point in time his name is going to be published," Dickey said, arguing that if there are other victims who only come forward late in the proceedings it may delay the judicial process. "Let's address that now," he said.

Farquhar said naming the man would create a risk of breaching his right to a fair trial.

"It's about preserving the respondent's fair trial rights."

Three other men charged with historical abuse at the school have now been named and another four still have interim name suppression.

Police said since the initial group of charges was laid and publicised, more than 70 members of the public have contacted them with information.

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