25 Jan 2011

Celebrity gives up name suppression fight

5:25 am on 25 January 2011

A broadcaster charged with disorderly conduct in central Auckland has given up his bid for name suppression, and can now be identified.

The case involving sports broadcaster Martin Devlin relates to an incident in Quay Street about 11am on 29 December 2010.

The matter was before the Auckland District Court on Monday.

The 46-year-old did not appear but his lawyer asked for suppression to be lifted, and the judge granted the request.

In a written statement, Devlin says after a series of events he ended up sitting on the bonnet of the car his wife was driving while it was in traffic on Quay Street, something he describes as stupid and apologises for.

Devlin says he sought suppression to protect his children from being identified and embarrassed by his behaviour, but now wants to end speculation and set the record straight.

He says police have offered him diversion and he will be going through that process over the next three months.

The case is the latest to raise issues about how easily high-profile people get name suppression, with the Government looking at whether the law needs to be tightened.

An associate professor of law at Canterbury University, says she hopes the case does not result in the law being reviewed.

Ursula Cheer says the law on name suppression was closely examined last year and the changes are now in a bill due to go through the select committee process.

The bill will ensure name suppression is not granted too often and the select committee process should be allowed to run its course, she says.