Nottingham fails in court again

Dermot Nottingham has failed in another application to the Court of Appeal, this time seeking further Crown disclosure before an appeal against his conviction and sentence last year. The CoA ruled out “evidence neither before nor capable of being before the Court, or the background motives of those who did or did not give evidence, to the extent that was not already put in evidence”.

Nottingham must have been involved in more court proceedings than most over the last decade, with a very high failure rate. He used to describe himself as ‘justice campaigner’, but I think more appropriate descriptions are ‘hopeless’  and ‘vexatious’.

The latest judgment – NOTTINGHAM v R [2019] NZCA 188 [30 May 2019] – follows a hearing in 20 May – that was supposed to be an appeal hearing but was delayed until later this month as that date was reassigned to hear his application for discovery.

[1] After a lengthy jury trial in Auckland, the appellant was found guilty of two charges of breaching non-publication orders and five charges of criminal harassment. He was sentenced to 12 months’ home detention and 100 hours’ community work.

[2] The Solicitor-General has appealed Mr Nottingham’s sentence on the basis it is, she says, manifestly inadequate. Mr Nottingham has appealed both conviction and sentence. These appeals are to be heard by Criminal Appeal Division on 25 June 2019.

[3] On 13 March 2019 Mr Nottingham filed an application seeking orders for further disclosure from non-parties and the Crown pursuant to “the salient provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011”.

Very ironic. In Nottingham’s private prosecution of myself and three others he repeatedly failed to provide proper disclosure, and never provided adequate disclosure, ignoring a number of legal requirements, requests and orders of the court.

[4] The non-party disclosure application was considered by this Court and declined in a judgment dated 14 May 2019…

See Nottingham refused fishing expedition by Court of Appeal.

Continued from the latest judgment:

…This judgment deals with the application against the Crown.

[7] Mr Nottingham contends that this information is relevant and necessary to due consideration of the appeals on 25 June because the police did not properly investigate the complaints made against him and there was a conspiracy including police officers to “fit [him] up”. The documents will assist him “build layers to show how the investigative process went awry”.

This is not unusual. He claimed a conspiracy involving police and court officials and media in his failed private prosecutions of APN, Prentice and Allied Press, George, but never provided any evidence.

Also “The appellants’ allegations of bias and conspiracy have been rejected by the High Court and Court of Appeal on the basis that they are not supported by the evidence.” – DERMOT GREGORY NOTTINGHAM, PHILLIP NOTTINGHAM AND ROBERT EARLE MCKINNEY V THE REAL ESTATE AGENTS AUTHORITY [2017] NZCA 145 [28 April 2017]

“Gilbert J struck out Mr Nottingham’s statement of claim in a judicial review proceeding brought against the District Court at Auckland and the second respondents alleging a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Gilbert J found the claim was “replete with scandalous and outrageous allegations” and that no attempt was made to provide factual particulars of the various allegations of dishonesty.” – DERMOT GREGORY NOTTINGHAM v DISTRICT COURT AT AUCKLAND [2018] NZSC 110 [20 November 2018]

Earlier in the prosecution proceedings currently being appealed Nottingham accused a judge of misconduct and ‘tampering with evidence’.

[10] In open Court, Mr Nottingham raised the issue of whether or not Judge Collins should preside at the mentions hearing. He stated as follows:

I’ve filed a judicial review of your decision and of Judge Paul’s decisions in the prosecution of Mr Honey, where I was prosecutor, I’m alleging that you misconducted yourself in relation to the legal finding that a person who is a
accused cannot be cross examined on an affidavit they have produced in support of an application for the continuing name suppression. Serious allegations are made against you, the High Court is to hear those allegations, there is a strike out being (inaudible) which we are confident of getting rid of, so it’s submitted Sir, with your knowledge of that, the allegations against you will be improper for you to continue to make any directions and that this matter of a callover should be adjourned to another date where another Judge can read that, my submissions on a memoranda …

A little later Mr Nottingham said as follows:

Sir, you’re aware of the allegations against you. The allegations include you tampering with the transcript. …
If you consider it’s fit for you to stand here when there’s a prima facie case that you tampered with the transcript. To remove the very material that proves that you made a decision –

The Judge then said as follows:

Are you in Court saying to me that I have tampered with a transcript?

Mr Nottingham replied:

I am saying there is a prima facie case for it, yes …

Well a Judge cannot sit with a prima facia case of him tampering with evidence on a factually related matter and that he’s aware of the allegations and they are [laid] before the supervisory Court of this Court. I can have a judicial review filed within four weeks.

The Judge went on to say as follows:

Do not interrupt and I’m going to give a judgment for a ruling in a moment on a question of contempt of Court.

 – NOTTINGHAM v SOLICITOR-GENERAL [2017] NZHC 1325 [15 June 2017]

Back to the latest judgment:

[9] As noted earlier, the Crown submission is substantive and substantial. It is also compelling. If the material now sought was relevant to culpability, it should have been sought and obtained before or at trial. If relevant to penalty, it should have been sought and obtained before sentencing. Be that as it may, what matters most here is its utility (if any) to the appeals pending in this Court.

[10] As to that, Mr Nottingham has entirely failed to persuade us that any of the material now sought is necessary for the due conduct of the appeals.

[12] This application is, therefore, an ill-assessed distraction from the issues on appeal. These must focus on the admissibility of the evidence adduced, the inferences properly to be drawn from that evidence and the directions given by the trial Judge, rather than on evidence neither before nor capable of being before the Court, or the background motives of those who did or did not give evidence, to the extent that was not already put in evidence. There is a limit. It has long since been crossed in this application.

Result

[13] The application is declined

So next up is the actual appeals in two weeks on 25th June, unless Nottingham finds another way to divert or delay.

The courts sound like they have had enough of his stunts, but I wouldn’t rule out more urgent memorandums – he has often filed or tried to file those right up to and during hearings. In one of my appeal proceedings he filed a memorandum just hours before a hearing applying to adduce new evidence, despite the case having never made it to trial.

Like then, the latest failed application sounds like Nottingham is trying to relitigate his prosecution, but in this case it was him being prosecuted. And the Court is not allowing him to re-write criminal procedures.

‘White supremacist’ to stay in prison for now

A warning two days ago:  Grandfather believes grandson may kill if released

“It’s merely a matter of time before he kills somebody.”

That’s the opinion of the grandfather of 22-year-old drug and alcohol addicted Frank Finch who was due to be released from custody this Friday.

His grandfather, Rod Finch, is pleading with agencies to deliver a secure release and rehabilitation plan which will keep both Finch, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, and the public safe.

The call for urgency was further prompted by threats Finch allegedly made in prison, as well as a chilling two-page letter Finch’s grandfather says the young man sent to him after the Christchurch mosque attacks, in which he allegedly applauded the alleged gunman.

“He’s been on marijuana since he was about 10 years old, drinking and then harder drugs like P as he got older.” He was diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago. “When he’s dry, he’s a loving, caring and highly intelligent young man, but nowadays it’s very rare to get him sober,” his grandfather said.

In 2015, Finch was imprisoned for three years on a raft of offences, including house burglaries, stealing electronics from Christchurch High Schools, and drive-off petrol thefts.

“You are 17 years old but you have the criminal history and actions of a much older man. You behave like a child. You have a lot of growing up to do,” the judge said at the time.

Last December, Finch was fresh out of prison when he was the passenger of a stolen car that crashed following a police pursuit. Finch was the sole survivor of the crash, which killed two others.

He is currently behind bars for breaching his court release conditions, but it was possible he’d be released at sentencing on Friday, a prospect which his grandfather feared.

For now Man described as dangerous white supremacist to remain in jail

Frank Finch, 22, will be imprisoned for crimes including theft and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle, but the police have also laid an additional charge of threatening to kill, for which he appeared in the afternoon and will enter pleas on next month.

Citing psychiatric reports, Judge Anthony Couch said Finch clearly had no remorse and was likely to reoffend if released.

“The conclusion of the psychiatrist is that you lack motivation to make meaningful change in your life or to take any steps to avoid further offending. The psychiatrist also complains that you didn’t need extensive and long term support in a highly structured environment to gain the skills to even consider pursuing a viable life outside of prison,” he said.

Finch’s lawyer Allister Davis had asked for a sentence of intensive supervision, and speaking after the sentencing, he said the jail term was a missed opportunity.

“But that opportunity may arise again in the future. At the moment, we’ve got a young man with some pretty serious psychological problems and issues that’s in jail. I don’t believe that it’s helping him at all, but he’s done the crime has got to do the time I suppose,” he said.

At his second appearance this afternoon, Frank Finch was remanded in custody, and in three weeks he is expected to enter a plea.

It seems likely others will be pleading he  remains in prison and gets treatment. He seems to be obviously suffering from mental illness, but is also obviously potentially dangerous.

Fortunately there has been an overdue boost in funding for mental health treatment in this week’s budget, including:

Initiatives – Supporting mental health within the justice sector

Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court: Operational Support 2019/20

$0.7 million operating
This initiative funds the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court (AODT Court) so it will continue operating with dedicated police prosecutors, court co-ordinators and lawyer team leaders at the two pilot sites (Auckland and Waitakere) until it ends on 30 June 2020.

Increasing Access to Mental Health and Addiction Support

$124.4 million operating
$3.9 million capital

This initiative is part of the Budget package supporting the Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata – Safe and Effective Justice programme. This will improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable people in Corrections’ care by providing funding for mental health and addiction interventions.

This may or may not be enough or the right sort of help for people like Birch, but it is an attempt to address entrenched problems.

More charges including terrorism laid against Christchurch terrorist

The police have laid more charges against the man accused of the Christchurch massacres, Brendon Tarrant, including a terrorism charge.

NZ Police: Further charges filed following March 15 attack in Christchurch

Police have met with victim’s families and survivors of the March 15 Christchurch attack to inform them of new charges which have been filed, and update them on the ongoing Police investigation plus the court process to come.

A charge of engaging in a Terrorist Act under section 6A of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 has now been filed against Brenton Tarrant.

The charge will allege that a terrorist act was carried out in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 and follows consultation between Police, Crown Law and the Christchurch Crown Solicitors Office.

An additional murder charge and two additional attempted murder charges have also been filed.

51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act have now been filed against Tarrant.

Just over 200 people attended the meeting this afternoon in Christchurch.

It was led by Detective Superintendent Peter Read and Detective Superintendent Dave Lynch who are joint Senior Investigation Officers, as well as Superintendent John Price, Canterbury District Commander. Also present were Detective Inspector Greg Murton, officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Sarah Illingworth who is managing the family liaison process for Police and a number of Court Victims Advisers.

Police are committed to providing all the support necessary for what will be a challenging and emotional court process to come for the victim’s families and survivors of the attack.

As the case is before the courts no further commentary on the charges will be made by Police, Crown Law or the Christchurch Crown Solicitors office.

Edgeler added:

The murder charges are still there. It’s not an all or nothing risk.

I think this is the right decision. If convicted it shouldn’t make much if any difference to the sentence, which would surely have to be the most severe handed down in a modern New Zealand court as the seriousness of the crime is unprecedented, but the police should not decide against the most serious charge for fear of the defendant grandstanding in court. There are ways that the court can deal with that.

Nottingham’s claims of perjury and court record

Dermot Nottingham has an extensive record of litigation, most of it unsuccessful. When he doesn’t get the judgments he wants he often blames others – sometimes the judges, and this has got him into trouble with courts. He also has a habit of blaming the victims of his legal misadventures, and also the victims of his harassment.

And this is what has happened after he was convicted of five counts of criminal harassment last July – he claims the victims of his harassment committed perjury.

NZ Herald: ‘Malicious and nasty’ blogger accuses former MP of perjury, asks court to release their emails

While ‘malicious and nasty’ may sound harsh from my experience with Nottingham it is an appropriate description. I think he could justifiably be called worse things than that.

A “malicious and nasty” blogger, who was convicted of criminal harassment and breaching court orders, has now accused a former parliamentarian of perjury.

Dermot Gregory Nottingham was found guilty of five criminal harassment charges and two breaches of court suppression orders following a lengthy trial, in which he represented himself, during April and May last year.

Nottingham was targeting business people, civil servants and a former member of Parliament.

He had taken and published photos of them, their homes and was making false claims of drug abuse and corruption.

One of the five victims, all of whom have permanent name suppression, said they had been stalked and photographed, with their images appearing on the blog page.

Now, however, Nottingham wants the cellphone records, emails and medical notes of three of his victims.

He claims they are guilty of perjury, having testified at his trial.

In an application for a non-party disclosure hearing, Nottingham asked the Court of Appeal for the emails sent and received by the then-MP about himself.

He also sought the cellphone records for the past six months from a second victim and the medical records of a third.

Nottingham claimed this would prove they lied at his trial.

However, in its decision sent to the Herald yesterday evening, the Court of Appeal refused Nottingham’s application.

The three judges said the application is “in reality, a fishing expedition”.

Accusations of lying and fishing expeditions sound familiar. When launching private prosecutions against myself, APN, Allied press and Prentice he didn’t have evidence, just accusations that he hoped to prove in court (not the way prosecutions are supposed to work).

The first and only time I met Nottingham face to face, outside the Dunedin court in October 2015, he falsely accused me of lying in front of my lawyer. Later viaa email he threatened to report my lawyer to the Law Society for falsely alleged ‘serious misconduct’. He also said:

In due course I will be examining certain persons that I have been reliably informed are anonymous posters on your clients hate blog.   As part of that process I will be seeking their email and others records. 

I will also obtain your clients telephone and text records, and his emails.
 
This procedure will clarify whose criminal agenda he [and they] are pushing.

His ‘reliable’ informants were as bad as him at making things up.

This is a similar tactic he has just used with the Court of Appeal. It indicates he didn’t have evidence he claimed he had when applying to a judge to file charges. He made up accusations and conspiracies  – he claimed that the police, court officials and media had conspired against him, but never produced any evidence.

After eleven months the charges against APN and Prentice were dismissed at trial, and a week later Nottingham withdrew the charges against Allied Press and myself. The costs judgment NOTTINGHAM v APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD [2018] NZHC 1004 [9 May 2018] gives some indication of how the prosecutions were conducted:

[13] Mr Nottingham had brought a private prosecution against APN and Mr Prentice alleging that they had breached confidentiality orders in contravention of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.

[14] Judge Collins dismissed the case against APN because Mr Nottingham did not have the right defendant..

[16] Judge Collins also held that Mr Nottingham’s evidence at trial fell well short of proving that Mr Prentice was the author or guiding hand behind the website alleged to have made the offending publication. He ruled that Mr Prentice had no case to answer.

[17] Before me, Mr Nottingham did not attempt to explain how, on any appeal, he could remedy this evidential lacuna. Rather, he sought to argue:

(a) that he, as prosecutor, should not have been required to bring the best available evidence to the Court;

(b) he should not have been required to prove every element of the charges; and

(c) that counsel for the defendants had an obligation to advise him if there was an error in his charging documents.

[18] These assertions demonstrate Mr Nottingham’s fundamental misunderstanding of the criminal justice system. They are untenable propositions, and it was frivolous and vexatious to attempt to advance them.

[24] Importantly, for present purposes, the affidavit was in any event inadmissible. As I noted in my judgment, it was replete with irrelevant material, opinion evidence and pontification by a Mr McKinney, who appeared as Mr Nottingham’s McKenzie friend, as to what he – Mr McKinney – thought the law is, or perhaps more precisely, should be. The affidavit contained a number of pejorative comments about Judge Collins and how he ran the trial. It also contained pejorative comments about other persons, in particular…Mr Prentice’s solicitor.

Conclusion

[26] The respondents were put to unnecessary expense, by Mr Nottingham’s multiple procedural failings, and by his obduracy in persisting with this matter, when it was or should have been clear from the outset that the proposed appeal was devoid of any substantive merit.

This is typical of a number of judgments against Nottingham.

The website nzlii.org lists 49 legal documents involving Nottingham going from last year back to 1989. Thirty five of them have been since 2015, an average of nine per year – and these are by no means all. They don’t include any from the District Court, where many of the proceedings began, and they don’t include judgments still covered by suppression.

In my case (alongside Allied Press) none of the proceedings documents are online. Over three years there were nine District Court appearances up until the charges were withdrawn. And following that there were two costs judgments in the District Court, two in the High Court (appeals) and one in the Court of Appeal. Nottingham must have been to court over a hundred times over four years.

Lying and perjury are common accusations.

From Nottingham v Real Estate Agents Authority [2015] NZHC 1616 (10 July 2015)

[29] The appeal is on the grounds:

That the Tribunal acted corruptly, dishonestly, and immorally…

1.1 Misreporting or not reporting evidence that proved that [the defendant] was guilty of the alleged offending;

2.1 Misreporting or not reporting evidence that proved that the CAC had acted corruptly;

14.1 Relying on the impossible explanations of [defendants] when the evidence that was before them proved those explanations as clear and relevant perjury;

[153] I also note that the Tribunal described itself as being concerned and disturbed that the Messrs Nottingham “generated an atmosphere of intimidation in our courtroom”.

[154] Given the nature of some of the appellants’ allegations against the Committee,the Tribunal had to ensure that the hearing was conducted in a structured and measured fashion and that the more extreme allegations did not detract from the real issues.

[155] I am satisfied that the exchanges of concern to the appellants amount to no more than the Tribunal doing its best to manage proceedings and to deal with issues sensibly and reasonably while being fair to all parties.

From Nottingham v Auckland District Court [2017] NZHC 777 (27 April 2017):

[8] Mr Nottingham commenced the present proceeding on 12 September 2016. The proceeding is styled as an application for judicial review. However, it alleges a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and seeks relief that cannot possibly be given in the context of an application for judicial review.

[9] In particular, Mr Nottingham alleges that Judge Paul and Judge Collins (who made procedural directions and rulings in the criminal case) conspired with District Court staff, the second defendants, the second defendants’ counsel and unnamed others, including members of the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, to “defeat, prevent, pervert, interfere, and obstruct justice in order to wrongfully acquit the second defendants” and to award costs in favour of the second defendants.

[10] The asserted “overt criminal actions” are baldly stated in 43 subparagraphs. These comprise outrageous and scandalous conclusory allegations which are wholly unsupported by any factual particulars. This can be illustrated by reciting the first ten alleged overt criminal actions on the list: “committing perjury”; “suborning perjury”; “promoting perjury”; “maladministering judicial office by protecting perjurers”; “maladministering judicial office by ignoring perjury”; “maladministering judicial office by encouraging perjury”; “making formal and informal applications that were based on, and supported by perjury, which perjury also contained false accusation against the plaintiff, [and others, involved]”; “maladministering judicial office by encouraging, and/or ignoring such applications, as cited immediately above”; “making [knowingly] false written, and/or oral, submissions, and/or rulings, as to facts, and law, in order to defeat, prevent, pervert, interfere, and obstruct justice”; and “ordering and/or carrying out the destruction of evidence”.

[11] No one is entitled to make allegations of serious misconduct, such as fraud or bad faith, let alone the extremely serious allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and dishonesty that have been advanced in this case, without being in possession of sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case to prove it. Detailed particulars of the specific facts relied on must be pleaded to support the allegation. The statement of claim filed in this case fails miserably when judged against that standard.

Three months later Nottingham was granted leave to file charges against myself and three others after making conspiracy allegations that for which no cogent evidence was ever presented.

[14] The hopelessness of the present claim becomes even clearer when one examines the relief sought, almost all of which could not possibly be entertained in the context of an application for judicial review. The relief sought includes:

(a) an order setting aside the judgment of the District Court acquitting the second defendants and replacing it with a judgment of this Court entering convictions against the second defendants on all charges brought against them by the plaintiff, including convictions on charges that were not accepted for filing or heard;

(b) an order setting aside the judgment awarding costs to the second defendants and replacing it with an award of indemnity costs against the second defendants and their counsel in favour of the plaintiff;

(c) an order holding the second defendants and their counsel “in contempt for perjury, suborning perjury and conspiring to falsely accuse, and conspiring to defeat the course of justice”;

(d) a declaration that the perjury committed by the second defendants and suborned by their counsel was of a most serious nature and that the police should be notified of the specificity and impact of that perjury;

(e) an order directing that the behaviour of the defendants’ counsel be reported to police and the Law Society;

(f) a declaration that the District Court judges have criminally mis-conducted themselves in public office and should be subject to removal procedures as a result;

(g) a declaration that the judges should be investigated for contempt of court;

(h) an order giving access to the plaintiff of all communications between judges and staff and the second defendants, any anyone else [who] communicated with the District Court and the judges;

(i) a substantial award of damages in favour of the plaintiff against the judges and unnamed District Court staff; and

(j) an order stopping the defendants from harassing the plaintiff and his family.

[16] I have no doubt that Mr Nottingham’s claim must be struck out. It is replete with scandalous and outrageous allegations without any attempt having been made to provide supporting factual particulars. Further, almost all of the relief sought could not be granted in the context of an application for judicial review. I am satisfied that these flaws in the claim are of such a fundamental character that they could not be saved by amendment.

That last relief sought (i) is ironic given that Nottingham was the one who was later found guilty of multiple charges of criminal harassment, but he had a habit of accusing others of doing what he did. I was accused of harassing him and his family and associates when they were clearly the ones doing the harassing.

Those here who witnessed the extensive attacks on myself, commenters and Your NZ in late 2015 will attest to who was harassing who.

From Maltese Cat Limited v Doe [2017] NZHC 1634 (14 July 2017):

[26] Mr Nottingham seeks to obtain a declaration that there exists a strong prima facie case to lay criminal charges against those involved in these proceedings where false allegations and fraud have been committed (in the Family Court proceedings). This is opposed on the grounds that it is not an interlocutory application. I agree. False allegations in the Family Court let alone fraud are not an issue in these proceedings.

[27] This is a statement of an intention to prove perjury by the plaintiffs and others under cross-examination etc. This is not an interlocutory application, contemplated in a Part 18 High Court Rules hearing.

[28] This application intends to prove that others have sought to promote, assist, and fund the litigation in order to subvert the due process. Similarly this is an abuse of a Part 18 hearing.

Nottingham made similar (false) accusations against me.

[37] This is an application to have the Court hold the deponents for the plaintiffs in contempt for perjury and conspiring by order to obtain a fraudulent means.

[39] This is an application by Mr Nottingham for search orders of the providers of the emails and phone services to the plaintiffs, to prove a collateral purpose. There is no basis for such an order.

Similar to what he has just tried with the Court of Appeal.

[45] This litigation is in a form far removed from that contemplated when the Court was asked and agreed that the proceedings should continue as an application under Part 18 of the High Court Rules. It is not possible in interlocutory proceedings to resolve all issues of admissibility of the hundreds of pages of “evidence” Mr Nottingham intends to rely on.

[46] I am also concerned that Mr Nottingham apparently does not intend to give evidence himself when there is a live suspicion that he is the person who is the source of the defamatory material on the internet.

Subsequent to this Nottingham was found guilty of posting such material on his website, and he admitted he was the author, but claimed he was immune from New Zealand law, and (NZH): He had tried to argue at trial that his “articles” were covered by freedom of expression rights.

From Nottingham v District Court at Auckland [2018] NZCA 345 (3 September 2018):

Background

[2] In 2014 Mr Nottingham commenced a private prosecution against the respondents, Mr Martin Honey, Mrs Stephanie Honey and Mr Hemi Taka. The charges arose out of claims by Mr Nottingham that the respondents had operated a fraudulent real estate website. There was also a charge of perjury. After a 17day judge-alone trial, Judge Paul dismissed the charges on the basis that there was no case to answer.[3] He acquitted the respondents and made an order that Mr Nottingham pay them costs totalling $117,000 under the Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1967.

So a private prosecution alleging perjury was dismissed. Costs awarded against Nottingham in this lengthy proceeding and others, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, led to him being declared bankrupt in September 2018 – see HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018].

I am not aware of any of Nottingham’s allegations of perjury or conspiracy being proven. He has been unsuccessful in almost all of this long litany of legal failures.

Talking of lying and perjury, in his failed attempt to prosecute me, in court documents Nottingham denied responsibility for posts on the now shut down laudafinem.com website.  From Notes of Judge J C Down on Sentencing 26 July 2018 (not online):

[22] Now, I make some findings of fact. Consistent with the verdicts of the jury I have concluded that between 2010 and 2015 Dermot Nottingham published or had published numerous articles on the blog site laudafinem.com. Either Dermot Nottingham is Lauda Finem (in other words, the leading mind of that blog) or
he is so intimately related to it that it is proper to conclude that he provided information and draft articles to that blog site knowing and intending that they would be published.

[23] During that five year period the defendant undertook numerous campaigns of harassment against a number of individuals, the most egregious and persistent of which were represented by the five complainants in the trial.

There were many others, including against myself and commenters here. I think that it is debatable that the worst were represented by those Nottingham was convicted of harassing. I have been contacted by a number of victims, who have gone as far as claiming Nottingham has ruined their lives.

[41] In relation to the breach of non-publication orders, Mr· Nottingham states as follows at paragraph 40 of his submissions:

It would seem odd that a severe sentence would be imposed on a party to supplying information to an overseas website on two killers that received no punishment, inclusive of no convictions, and name suppression, as to their identities.

[42] Not only does such a statement reinforce the contempt with which Mr Nottingham holds the decisions of the Court and the non-publication orders, but establishes beyond doubt that Mr Nottingham harbours no sense of remorse in relation to any of this offending.

So he now doesn’t deny providing posts to the infamous blog, despite denials of involvement (lying or at least misleading) in other court proceedings.

Nottingham is appealing his conviction and sentence. The Crown is also appealing his sentence.

Court of Appeal daily list for Monday 20 May:

2:15pm
CA472/2018 & CA492/2018 (to be heard together)
CA472/2018 Dermot Gregory NOTTINGHAM (In Person) v The Queen
CA492/2018 The Queen v Dermot Gregory NOTTINGHAM (In Person)

4% of adults experience 47% of crime

That’s a remarkable statistic.

Chester Borrows (The Spinoff): A huge chunk of crime affects a tiny group of people. Why?

Crime feeds on the young, vulnerable and the very communities that have the least capacity to respond and recover.

While 71% of New Zealanders haven’t had any experience of crime over the past year, no New Zealander should find any satisfaction in the statistic that 4% of people suffer nearly half of all crime (47%). Crime is not an equal opportunity offender.

The yearly NZCVS provides a far-more detailed and nuanced picture of crime and victimisation in New Zealand, replacing the intermittent NZCASS survey. Researchers are already in the field for next year’s survey, which I hope will be funded for longer than the current three-year allocation.

The survey will help provide a strong foundation of evidence and quantitative data to support the work of the Safe and Effective Justice Programme, that the work of our advisory group also feeds into. Many of the results directly echo what we’ve been hearing around New Zealand from all walks of life.

What continues to interest me is that only 4% of adults experience 47% of all crime incidents.

Drilling further into this, it’s clear that for the people affected by crime far too many are victimised repeatedly.

  • Four per cent of victims of household offences and 10% of victims of personal crime were victimised five or more times within 12 months;
  • At 37%, Māori were more likely to be victims of crime than the national average of 29%;
  • 40% of 20-29 years-old were victims of crime over the past year, whereas 18% of those aged 65 or older reported being victims of crime. Yet we hear from older New Zealanders, generally, more fear of crime and perceptions of crime being much greater than it actually is.
  • There is greater victimisation by crime found in areas of high deprivation – so if you live in areas of higher needs (or, generally lower incomes), you’re more likely to be a victim.
  • And 300,000 New Zealand adults experienced 747,000 incidents of interpersonal violence over the past year, showing that for far too many Kiwis the hurt they suffer is not one-off.

What this further points to is a theme that we’re hearing across the justice sector and the public around the effect longer prison sentences has on crime. In effect, longer sentences don’t seem to be helping. What we are hearing is that the likelihood of getting caught that has a greater impact on whether someone will offend.

In areas of high deprivation, it may be easier to commit crime because people in those areas are less likely to report it – and the cycle of crime feeding on the most vulnerable continues.

If we are to really breakthrough the cycle of crime and incarceration then as a country we need to re-examine the attitudes we have toward crime and punishment. When 60% of people released from prison reoffend within two years, then that should tell you that our current system isn’t providing the right outcomes for all our communities.

Borrows is a former National MP and currently chairs Te Uepu, which is tasked with trying to get a safer and more effective justice system.

Online threats against Ghahraman continue

Patrick Gower has done an investigation of ‘white supremacy’ in New Zealand – Christchurch attack: The new face of white supremacy in New Zealand

In this he details:

Newshub has been leaked details of a closed Facebook group that has Kiwis chatting to each other about white supremacy.

Newshub has decided not to name them for legal reasons, but have published a snippet of their chat – and it is confronting content.

Newshub contacted the person being written about – Green MP Golriz Ghahraman – and she consented to the conversation being published in the interests of exposing it.

Warning: This content is distressing.

It starts with one user saying:

“Ask yourself: What have I done today for White well-being?”

The chat then turns to:

“Golriz.”

“What a smart mouthed Hua.”

“I know. It’s just nice to put them in one basket. Plus I don’t have a rayciss (sic) word for Iranians anyway lol.”

Then they start joking about hanging her like a lynch mob:

“Get the rope lol.”

“She’ll make a fantastic chandelier.”

“I need a new lamp.”

It ends with:

“I can’t wait to see her on the streets.”

Threats and attacks against Ghahraman continue on Twitter. While criticism should be expected by MPs who are active online, and Ghahraman attracts plenty of criticism, she also attracts some of the worst of social media.

Comments like this one from Pauli84842812 are abhorrent and should be dealt with by Twitter – if allowed to go unchecked they encourage more despicable online behaviour.

Ghahraman also tweeted:

This is very difficult to deal with.

It is possible to challenge politicians and debate what they say robustly but respectful of decent standards of behaviour.

Nottingham refused fishing expedition by Court of Appeal

Dermot Nottingham’s appeal against his conviction and sentence is on the Court of Appeal fixture list for next Monday. He has already been to the court trying to get cellphone records, emails and medical notes of three of his criminal harassment victims, claiming they lied at his trial, but the court refused that, calling it a fishing expedition.

NZ Herald: ‘Malicious and nasty’ blogger accuses former MP of perjury, asks court to release their emails

A “malicious and nasty” blogger, who was convicted of criminal harassment and breaching court orders, has now accused a former parliamentarian of perjury.

Dermot Gregory Nottingham was found guilty of five criminal harassment charges and two breaches of court suppression orders following a lengthy trial, in which he represented himself, during April and May last year.

He was then sentenced to 12 months’ home detention and 100 hours’ community work for what Judge Jonathan Down described as a blatant and contemptuous breach of court orders and an arrogant view of right and wrong.

Nottingham was targeting business people, civil servants and a former member of Parliament.

He had taken and published photos of them, their homes and was making false claims of drug abuse and corruption.

One of the five victims, all of whom have permanent name suppression, said they had been stalked and photographed, with their images appearing on the blog page.

The sentencing judge said they were the five worst cases of harassment, but that’s debatable. There were many victims of attacks from Nottingham and associates – including myself and others participating here at Your NZ.

Now, however, Nottingham wants the cellphone records, emails and medical notes of three of his victims.

He claims they are guilty of perjury, having testified at his trial.

This isn’t the first time he has made claims like that when court judgments haven’t gone his way (he has been a frequent visitor to courts over the past ten years, unsuccessfully most of the time).

In an application for a non-party disclosure hearing, Nottingham asked the Court of Appeal for the emails sent and received by the then-MP about himself.

Nottingham claimed this would prove they lied at his trial.

He also sought the cellphone records for the past six months from a second victim and the medical records of a third.

He has made a number of accusations in the past without having evidence, including in his failed prosecution of me.

But as in the past the Court of Appeal ruled against him.

“We are neither satisfied that those persons are likely to hold the information Mr Nottingham seeks nor, even if we thought that was likely, that all or part of it appears to be relevant,” Justices Stephen Kos, Brendan Brown and Denis Clifford ruled.

“The open-ended and speculative nature of the reasons on which Mr Nottingham based his application reflect the almost inevitability of that conclusion.”

The three judges said the application is “in reality, a fishing expedition”.

“Moreover, and most importantly, each of [the victims] gave evidence at Mr Nottingham’s trial and were cross-examined at considerable length.

“That cross-examination was an opportunity to test their evidence, both as to its credibility and its reliability.”

The Court of Appeal judges said because those being asked to divulge personal information were victims of Nottingham’s criminal harassment, it was further reason not to put them through the invasive process that a hearing would occasion.

Court of appeal judges referring to “victims of Nottingham’s criminal harassment” suggests it will be challenging for Nottingham to get the convictions overturned.

Nottingham, meanwhile, also appealed both his convictions and his sentence.

He had tried to argue at trial that his “articles” were covered by freedom of expression rights.

He has admitted writing “articles” on ‘that blog’ which will be nameless here, and I think that many who have read articles there, especially about themselves, will suggest Nottingham abused freedom of expression rights.

The prosecution against him, he claims, was a “false case” and the police had created evidence to “fit him up”.

That sounds like what he tried to do with me and others. Court costs awarded against him in those failed cases led to him being declared bankrupt last September.

Brian Dickey, Auckland’s crown solicitor, said Nottingham’s harassment was at the high end of the criminal spectrum, calling it “so malicious, so nasty”.

“He shows absolutely no insight into his offending, no remorse,” he said at the blogger’s sentencing.

The Crown had asked for a prison sentence after Nottingham’s conviction and is appealing the sentence. That will be heard at the same time as Nottingham’s appeals.

See Dermot Nottingham sentenced for criminal harassment, suppression breaches

Royal Commission into Christchurch mosque attacks begins this week

A second commissioner has been appointed and the Royal Commission into the Christchurch Mosque attacks on 15 March will begin this week.


Terror attack Royal Commission begins work

The Royal Commission into the March 15 terror attack will begin considering evidence next week following the appointment of the second and final commissioner.

Former diplomat Jacqui Caine, the former New Zealand Ambassador to Chile and most recently Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Director of Special Projects in Christchurch, will join the Commission Chair Sir William Young.

“The Government is confident that the Royal Commission now has the right people in place to carry out the important task of fully understanding what happened in the lead up to the March 15 terror attack, what could have been done to stop it and how we can keep New Zealanders safe,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The Commission has already been established, is scheduled to begin considering evidence from Monday and is due to report by 10 December 2019.

Ms Caine has resigned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to take up the role.

“This is a critical part of our ongoing response to the attack. The Commission’s findings will help to ensure such an attack never happens here again,” Jacinda Ardern said.


Details on the Royal Commission into the attack on the Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019

Background

1. On 15 March 2019 fifty people were killed and over fifty others injured, some seriously, when an individual attacked the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch while worshippers were at prayer.  An individual has been charged with offences in relation to the attack and awaits trial.

2. The Government has announced a Royal Commission will be appointed to inquire into what relevant state sector agencies knew about the individual’s activities before the attack, what, if anything, they did with that information, what measures agencies could have taken to prevent this attack, and what measures agencies should take to prevent such attacks in the future.

3. The Inquiry needs to report on these matters urgently, so Government has an independent and authoritative report on these matters to reassure the New Zealand public, including its Muslim communities, that all appropriate measures are being taken by state sector agencies to ensure their safety and protection.

4. Government expects the Inquiry to connect with New Zealand’s Muslim communities on these matters.

5. Government has received assurances and expects that all relevant state sector agencies, officers and employees will do their utmost to cooperate with the Inquiry given the importance of the issues it is charged with examining and reporting on.

Purpose and matter of public importance

6. The matter of public importance which the Inquiry is directed to examine is

  • what relevant state sector agencies knew about the activities of the individual who has been charged with offences in relation to the 15 March 2019 attack on the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, before that attack;
  • what actions (if any) they took in light of that knowledge;
  • whether there were any additional measures that the agencies could have taken to prevent the attack, and
  • what additional measures should be taken by relevant state sector agencies to prevent such attacks in future.

Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into the Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019, as approved by Cabinet on 8 April 2019:

An attempt to address Māori reoffending rates launched

The biggest problem with Māori imprisonment levels is that too many Māori get involved in crime in the first place.

People identifying as Māori make up about 15% of the new Zealand population, but just over half of those in prison are Māori.

Ethnicity of Prisoners (March 2019)

However it is very difficult to deal with problems before they manifest themselves as criminal activities.  High recidivism rates are also a major problem.

Corrections: Re-imprisonment rates by ethnicity

The re-imprisonment rate over 48 months for Maori offenders (55%) is considerably higher than the rate for both NZ Europeans (45%) and Pacific offenders (36%).

graph-6

Overall recidivism rates are bad, but especially so for Māori

So the Government are trying to break the cycle of Māori reoffending and imprisonment with a new plan. It will take time to tell how effective it will be, but different ways of addressing the problem have to be tried to try and turn things around.

Announced yesterday:


A whānau-centred pathway to break the cycle of Māori reoffending

The Government has today announced it is taking action on the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending rates and delivering on its target to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent, with the creation of a new Māori Pathway at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison and Northland Region Corrections Facility.

This initiative will be co-designed and implemented by Māori, with Corrections, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) working together in partnership with hapū and iwi. It will initially focus on Māori men under 30 years of age, as this group has the highest reconviction and reimprisonment rates. The Pathway will enable people to experience a kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred approach for all of their time with Corrections, from pre-sentence to reintegration and transition in their community.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the $98 million Wellbeing Budget investment is a major first step in changing the way Corrections operates to help break the cycle of Māori reoffending and imprisonment.

“We are acknowledging that our system does not work for the majority of Māori. The answer is not another programme. This is a new pathway for people in prison and their whānau to walk together. This is a system change and a culture change for our prisons – and that change starts today,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The Māori Pathway delivers on a number of our Government’s priorities. It’s about reducing reoffending so there are fewer victims of crime, building closer partnerships with Māori, and enabling us to keep delivering on our target to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent.

“This is a great example of the Wellbeing approach in action, with a number of agencies working together to target long-term change.”

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges his colleagues Kelvin Davis and Carmel Sepuloni for being bold and taking a whānau-centred approach to their mahi.

“This is real progress towards incorporating Whānau Ora into their portfolios and agencies, extending Government support and buy-in to the Whānau Ora approach, as recommended by Tipu Mātoro ki te Ao,” Peeni Henare said.

“Whānau Ora successfully supports positive outcomes for whānau because it recognises the power of the collective and promotes self-determination. It is a holistic and strengths-based approach, allowing whānau to define and work towards their own aspirations. This is an important step for Government to improve whānau wellbeing.”

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says MSD is committed to supporting the person and their whānau to achieve their goals.

“This is an exciting initiative which aligns with recommendations in the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s report to improve outcomes for Māori and enhance support for people in prisons,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Media agreement on coverage of Tarrant trial

David posted this comment:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/01/self-censorship-media-new-zealand-white-supremacist-2019-226766

Kiwiblog also covers this. Its an outrage that the press has self censored itself as a collective with the government complicit.

“The Kiwi editors don’t appear to trust their readers and viewers to handle the difficult and disturbing material that’s sure to billow out of the Tarrant trial. They regard New Zealanders as children who must be sheltered from the heinous and despicable lest they become tainted with its influence.”

Its worth reading the story from an outsiders point and shines a light on the paternalistic overview that our “betters” in the media exhibit. I would like to see full coverage without sensationalizing the bits that irresponsible media usually do, I want the different perspectives of a varied and uncensored free press usually give. And its appalling that the government and the press think that if we hear what this loon says we will see it as a call to arms. Bloody ridiculous.


Here are the “agreed editorial guidelines” – Reporting the Trial of Brenton Tarrant

MEDIA STATEMENT – NZ MEDIA FREEDOM COMMITTEE
REPORTING THE TRIAL OF BRENTON TARRANT
[1 May 2019]

Senior editors of the major accredited news media companies in New Zealand (TVNZ, Stuff, Mediaworks, NZME and RNZ) have committed to a united approach in reporting the trial of Brenton Tarrant following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March, 2019. The group of editors, representing the New Zealand Media Freedom Committee, has agreed a set of protocols to ensure that the outlets they represent cover the upcoming trial comprehensively and responsibly.

A group statement and a copy of the agreed editorial guidelines is attached for your information.

Requests for further information or comment should be directed to the respective media organisations.

MEDIA STATEMENT – NZ MEDIA FREEDOM COMMITTEE

REPORTING THE TRIAL OF BRENTON TARRANT 

We are the senior editors representing the major accredited news media companies in New Zealand (TVNZ, Stuff, Mediaworks, NZME and RNZ).

As a group and as individual editors we are committed to ensuring the outlets we represent cover the upcoming trial of Brenton Tarrant comprehensively and responsibly.

We have agreed to abide by these guidelines throughout the trial.

BACKGROUND 
Brenton Harrison Tarrant is charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 charges of attempted murder relating to shootings carried out at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March, 2019.

Victims of the terror attack include citizens of twelve different countries.

We represent accredited New Zealand media organisations that plan to attend the trial and associated proceedings for the purposes of reportage.

As editors we are mindful of the public interest in the trial, in New Zealand and internationally.

We are also mindful of our role as the “eyes and ears of the public” in the context of court reporting. In this instance, we acknowledge the particular importance of this function, given the many victims’ friends and families outside New Zealand who may otherwise be unable to engage in the trial process.

We are aware that the accused may attempt to use the trial as a platform to amplify white supremacist and/or terrorist views or ideology.

GUIDELINES
We agree that the following Protocol will apply to our outlets’ coverage and reportage of the trial:

(a) We shall, to the extent that is compatible with the principles of open justice, limit any coverage of statements, that actively champion white supremacist or terrorist ideology.
(b) For the avoidance of doubt the commitment set out at (a) shall include the accused’s manifesto document “The Great Replacement”.
(c) We will not broadcast or report on any message, imagery, symbols or signals (including hand signals) made by the accused or his associates promoting or supporting white supremacist ideology.
(d) Where the inclusion of such signals in any images is unavoidable, the relevant parts of the image shall be pixellated.
(e) To the greatest extent possible, the journalists that are selected by each of the outlets to cover the trial will be experienced personnel.
(f) These guidelines may be varied at any time, subject to a variation signed by all parties.
(g) This Protocol shall continue in force indefinitely.

SIGNED:
Miriyana Alexander (NZME and chair of the Media Freedom Committee)
John Gillespie (TVNZ)
Shayne Currie (NZME)
Mark Stevens (Stuff)
Paul Thompson (RNZ)
Hal Crawford (Mediaworks)


This is an unusual approach for what is an extraordinary situation.

Media always make judgements about what court cases they will report on and what they will report. What is different here is agreement between all the major media organisations.

Thins could change if circumstances change – “These guidelines may be varied at any time, subject to a variation signed by all parties.”