Policeman revealed as stalker

Suppression has been lifted and it has now been revealed that a policeman was the person convicted of criminal harassment, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and intentional damage in Dunedin.

In April a case involving the stalking and harassment of a Dunedin businessman was revealed – see ODT  Stalked man sure death was coming:

The 39-year-old defendant was yesterday found guilty of criminal harassment, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and intentional damage, following a week-long, judge-alone trial last month.

His name and occupation will remain suppressed at least until this morning’s sentencing in the Dunedin District Court.

The victim and his wife — whose identities are permanently suppressed…

But the suppression was partly lifted – Dunedin stalker named:

Today, before the Dunedin District Court, the judge sentenced Buis to 200 hours’ community work and ordered to pay Mr Pryde $15,000.

The public servant who spent two and a-half years stalking a Dunedin businessman can now be named.

Jeremy Buis (39), of Dunedin, was yesterday found guilty of criminal harassment, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and intentional damage.

Buis has had name suppression since the charges were laid some two years ago but today defence counsel Anne Stevens said there was no application to have that extended.

While Judge Paul Kellar let the suppression order lapse, he continued the suppression of the defendant’s occupation at Mrs Stevens’ request.

She said it would unfairly cast aspersions on others doing the same job as her client.

Keeping the occupation of Buis proved futile with social media soon making it easy to find out a disturbing aspect of the case.

But now this suppression has been lifted.

NZ Herald: Court says man who harassed Dunedin businessman for 2.5 years can be revealed as policeman

Constable Jeremy Fraser Buis, 39, was sentenced following a judge-alone trial in March to 200 hours’ community work and ordered to pay the victim, Danny Pryde, $15,000 after being found guilty of criminal harassment, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and intentional damage.

At sentencing, Judge Paul Kellar suppressed the man’s occupation at the request of defence counsel Anne Stevens.

But yesterday, the Otago Daily Times successfully appealed the ruling in the High Court at Dunedin.

Counsel Charlotte Carr said: “To treat a police officer differently could lead to ridicule and contempt from the public and to suppress a particular occupation invites a perception that certain classes of persons will be treated differently before the court.”

Justice David Gendall said the judge’s grounds for the suppression of the man’s profession were unclear and he said there was “significant public interest” in the order being quashed.

“Ordering the suppression of Mr Buis’ occupation because he is a police officer undermines the principle that all members of society are equal under the law,” Gendall said.

“Police are not entitled to special treatment.”

This is a sensible decision. That a policeman was involved was of substantial public interest.

The news was welcomed by Pryde, who had voiced his disappointment at the situation after sentencing in April.

“It’s more of a relief to know it is public. I don’t know why it was ever a secret,” he said. “I had to be very careful about what I said.”

Pryde was quick to point out it was Buis, not the police, who wanted the profession kept under wraps.

It had put Pryde in a difficult situation, especially online. He was involved in Facebook discussions where the occupation of Buis became fairly easy to work out (from the comments of some others, not Pryde).

Southern District commander Superintendent Paul Basham confirmed yesterday that the defendant had been suspended in February 2015 and an employment process was ongoing.

Basham said it was not part of a wider problem.

“The behaviour reported on through the case is not reflective of the wider culture in the police in 2017,” he said.

Of the 700 staff in the region he said the vast majority acted professionally but “you have a few who occasionally let the side down”.

Basham said there was a speak-up policy in place encouraging staff to report any adverse behaviour.

“Those conversations are happening regularly and I think we have a generation of staff coming through that are mindful about those issues,” he said.

Buis certainly “let the side down”, but I think it is correct and just that his occupation can now be known and talked about publicly.

This was a serious and sustained abuse of power by a policeman.

4 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 18, 2017

    A very nasty bit of work who certainly doesn’t rate being put in a position of power over others. Why “employment issues are ongoing” is rather mind-boggling and suggests the ridiculous suppression order did not help a speedy resolution.

    • This man is plain evil. 200 hours of community service! A joke for such a concerted, hateful case of stalking.

  2. Corky

     /  July 18, 2017

    It must be something in the water down there. The police seem feral, and Labour were lucky to get out of town unscathed a few years back

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 18, 2017

      One policeman is a stalker-hardly a sign of feral (that overused word) police in general.. To assume that all are like the worst one isn’t very logical/