Bad journalism, bad blogging, bad case in Youth Court

A bad case in the Youth Court of two rapes, bad reporting, bad MP reactions, bad blogging and predictable blog comments rife with inaccuracies and misdirected blame.

Initial misleading report at Stuff: Teenage rapist ‘got off very lightly’ after admitting sex attacks on two girls

A teenager was spared jail for rape after a court heard he had a promising career as a sportsman ahead of him.

The now 18-year-old, who has previously represented New Zealand on the world stage, admitted charges of rape and sexual violation in the Auckland Youth Court.

But he will not be jailed after a judge took into account his “outstanding talent” when sentencing him for sex attacks on two teenage girls.

The teenager has automatic  and, aside from his record noting the Youth Court appearances, faces no punishment.

There was outrage on Twitter, only some of it justified.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog: Name suppression disgrace

He’s raped and assaulted two girls and he gets permanent name and not even a slap on the wrist – all because he is good at sports.

That is sickening.

I’m not saying he should go to prison. But to face no punishment at all is terrible, and no one should get name suppression for serious violent or sexual offending if they have been found guilty.

The victims must feel terrible that after what he did to them, he gets off totally. Not even community service, a fine, home detention etc. He gets zilch all because he is good at sports.

The Crown must appeal this travesty of a sentence.

Some of this is inaccurate because the Stuff report was inaccurate, but DPF has added his own inaccuracies. The offender got off very lightly, but did not get off totally.

Uninformed outrage ensued, including from a lawyer. other lawyers set the record straight…

GPT1

If you are going to rant and rave can you please get the law right. It was in the Youth Court. Suppression is the law. There was a time when you did analysis not talkback by blog.

…but as is common at Kiwiblog they were downticked for adding facts to the discussion.

Graeme Edgeler on Twitter also pointed out facts of the matter.

Stuff corrected their story: Teenage rapist ‘got off very lightly’ after admitting sex attacks on two girls

A teenager who has hopes of being a professional sportsman has failed in his bid to keep any record of his charges for rape and sexual violation from his record.

The teenager, who has previously represented New Zealand on the world stage, admitted the charges in the Auckland Youth Court.

The now 18-year-old has automatic name suppression and, aside from his record noting the Youth Court appearances, he faces no punishment.

An advocate for survivors of sexual abuse says the teenager has “got off very lightly”.

* CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the teenager had been spared jail after a court heard of his promising sport career. In fact, because the case was heard in the Youth Court a jail term was not a sentencing option available to the judge. We regret the error.

That has been pointed out on Kiwiblog but it hasn’t stopped the outrage raging.

Even an ex-Minister of Justice jumped on the bash-wagon (albeit reacting to first the Stuff report).

For anyone who wants to understand the court judgment accurately 2018-NZYC-490_New-Zealand-Police-v-OV.pdf [311 KB]

One down, more Whale Oil sites targeted

Yesterday Matt Blomfield took control of the whaleoil.co.nz website after purchasing it from liquidators. he has it redirecting to his own site which has a postscript to the Margie Thomson book Whale Oil. It concludes:

This site — whaleoil.co.nz — now serves as a perpetual memorial to the injustices inflicted on all those people, and to Matt’s long battle to curtail falsity, bullying and manipulation.

That is a very fine ending.

It is a fine ending to the original Whale Oil blog site, which became too nasty and too toxic, with Cameron Slater and those who supplied, aided and abetted him abusing the power of media while they could get away with it.

But the website had moved onto other sites.

Some of the recent events are traceable within the records of the Companies Register. There, the dry accumulation of company names, name changes, changes in shareholdings and directorships whispers of the sheer human drama and desperate planning that has gone on behind the scenes as Slater and his supporters seemed to do everything they could think of to rescue something from their sinking ship. Social Media Consultants, then-owner of the whaleoil blog, went into liquidation. A new company, Madas 114, was set up and then shortly after became WOBH; whaleoil.co.nz became whaleoil.net.nz before morphing, chameleon-like, into a completely new blogsite. Slater passed all his shareholdings and directorships to his wife, to his accountant, and then back to his wife.

The liquidator quickly took issue with what she identified as the illegal transfer of assets away from creditors and into new entities.

In short, the estimated claims against Slater and his company so far total more than $4.7 million.

‘Fill your boots,’ Slater said a few years ago. ‘When you’ve got nothing to lose, you’re dangerous.’

His problem now is that Blomfield has nothing to lose by finishing his goal of shutting down Whale Oil – all of it.

Blomfield’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer, tweeted yesterday afternoon:

Actually an attempt has been made to distance ownership of whaleoil.net.nz and thebfd.co.nz away from Slater and his wife Juana Atkins.

One is  registered to Regan Cunliffe, a long time associate of Slater (a few years ago they had jointly planned to set up some great new media site but I think funding fell through).

The other is registered to Andrea Parkes (who provides a whaleoil.org.nz contact email address).

Blomfield has proven he has determination and tenacity. He has a very capable lawyer who also seems to have determination to see this through. And they have widespread popular support to bury a dead horse.

Slater may feel he has little more to lose, and Atkins may also be similar.

But I wonder how willing Cunliffe and Parkes may be to be dragged into the legal mire.

And for what? Trying to give life support to a toxic, failed brand? And potentially being parties to attempts to misappropriate assets in a bankruptcy and in a liquidation?


Actually, Atkins may have quite a bit to lose.

Juana Atkins did not reply to the liquidator; neither did she comply with demands to relinquish control of the assets. On August 5, the liquidator who, remember, is an officer of the Court, wrote to the police for assistance, citing six sections of the Crimes Act she believed Atkins may have breached. The police replied briefly, telling Toon she should take her complaint to the front desk of her nearest police station.

Things may be yet to catch up on her.

That same day, a link to a nasty website was circulated, devoted to taunting the liquidator in the most horrible ways.

That is dumb – and I know someone who is trying to do this. They have been a significant contributor to attacks against Blomfield and to the the downfall of Slater. And they seem intent on continuing in their destructive behaviour. That may well catch up on them too.

Dermot Nottingham appeals fail, sentence increased

The original 12 month home detention sentence (three and a half of which has been served) and 100 hours community work has been quashed, and replaced with a new sentence of 12 months home detention presumably beginning from the appeal judgment made last week. He has been banned again from using the Internet for 18 months.

After being charged in 2015 and following numerous delays Dermot Nottingham went to trial last year and was found guilty by a jury of five criminal harassment charges and two breaches of court suppression orders.  He was sentenced in July 2018.

Nottingham appealed both the conviction and sentence, and the Crown also appealed the sentence, claiming it was ‘manifestly inadequate’.  Nottingham has lost both of his appeals, and the sentence has been increased, but again by a judicial whisker he has avoided a prison sentence.

NZ Herald: Blogger’s convictions for ‘malicious and misogynistic attacks’ on former MP, business people stick

Auckland’s Crown Solicitor Brian Dickey said at Nottingham’s sentencing the breaches were an “attack on the High Court”.

Judge Jonathan Down also categorised the breaches as “blatant and contemptuous” and noted Nottingham showed no remorse.

In one instance he sent one of his victims a scene from the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, which showed a person being shot in the head.

He can be very nasty, and has attacked many people over the last decade. The charges were laid were deemed representative of the worst examples, but that’s debatable, I have heard claims of despicable attacks (disclosure –  Nottingham has attacked me extensively including trying unsuccessfully to prosecute and imprison me, which was part vindictiveness, part an attempt to concoct a defence for the charges he faced).

All of Nottingham’s harassment victims have been granted permanent name suppression.

The Crown also alleged various other acts of harassment, including “following”, and in one case initiating a private prosecution.

I’m ware of private prosecutions against seven people or companies. These all failed, and after hundreds of thousands of dollars of court costs were awarded against him Nottingham with no attempt made to pay them Nottingham was adjudicated bankrupt in September 2018.

Nottingham, who represented himself, had also called former Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater to give evidence and argued at his trial that his “articles” were covered by freedom of expression rights.

Slater has also been implicated in making use of the notorious attack website that Nottingham was found to have been the main user of. From his sentencing notes last year “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. He makes the concession…that he has never denied that he has supplied information to the website…” – see “Either Dermot Nottingham is Lauda Finem…or he is so intimately related to it…”

Nottingham and Slater have been associated in a number of legal proceedings (including the attempted prosecution of myself and three others), but others have also been involved and aided and abetted, including his brothers Phillip and Antony, Marc Spring and Earle McKinney.

During his appeal, Nottingham argued his convictions should be quashed because the blog site was based overseas.

“You cannot be a party to a crime that never occurred in an overseas jurisdiction,” he said.

So he didn’t deny attacking and defaming people on the website, he just claimed he was immune from new Zealand law.

However, in his summing-up at the trial, Judge Down said: “Even if the main parts of a crime are committed abroad, if you do something to further that crime, and you have done it in New Zealand, that crime, the whole thing can be prosecuted in New Zealand.”

The Court of Appeal judges, Justice John Wild, Justice Susan Thomas and Justice Matthew Muir, agreed.

“We identify no error in that direction,” they said.

Slater’s “unambiguous position” was it was impossible to do anything online which did not leave “footprints everywhere”, the Court of Appeal decision reads.

Despite this, the Court of Appeal sided with the Crown’s position that the circumstantial evidence relied on was “very strong, if not overwhelming”.

It included text messages and internet history showing Nottingham was trying to obtain and research information about the Dudley case, particularly the names of the defendants.

While a police search of computers Nottingham had access to identified several key court documents, including the judge’s sentencing notes, witness statements and a witness list.

Seven hours before publication of the blog, Nottingham also wrote to the police officer heading the inquiry with the subject line: “Report I Am authoring on the Dudley killing”.

The Court of Appeal said much of the harassment material “could at best be described as virulent opinion with only a tangential connection to anything arguably true”.

In other words, Nottingham attacked people making false accusations and assertions, something I have seen a lot of in emails and court documents.

“As the Crown said in closing, the posts were littered with ‘hate-filled [invective]’ and were strongly misogynistic,” the judges said.

In calculating the sentence the Court of Appeal judges arrived at 31 months’ imprisonment – about 30 per cent higher than Judge Down’s end point.

However, in re-sentencing Nottingham, the trio of judges was “obliged” to take into account the three and a half months of home detention he had already served.

“Allowing a seven-month discount in this respect again brings Mr Nottingham’s sentence to a level where the court is obliged to consider home detention.”

If that had been the original sentence last year Nottingham would have ended up in prison.

The court quashed the existing, part-served, sentence and imposed a new 12 months’ home detention term, plus the 100 hours of community work for the suppression breach.

Nottingham’s special conditions also remained, and include not using any electronic device capable of accessing the internet without prior approval from a probation officer.

I take from this that the new 12 months home detention term begins from last week’s appeal judgment. And I presume there remains a further 6 month Internet ban after that, which would run through to early 2021.

At least this and his bankruptcy (after he took nearly a year to file a statement of affairs he is due to be discharged from bankruptcy on 11 September 2022) should limit his capability to attack and harass people online should also restrict his habit of vexatious litigation.

Nottingham and his gang of online thugs remain unrepentant and a lot of defamatory attack material remains online, but that poses more risks to him than anyone. I think at least one legal proceeding continues against Nottingham for posts done years ago.

Will Nottingham try to appeal this new sentence in the Supreme Court? On past behaviour he may like to try, but the Official Assignee may make that difficult if not impossible. I need to find out, because bizarrely suppression on aspects of the failed case against me continues until his case has reached a final resolution.

When more details are available online in the judgment I will do a post on that.


Many judgments with suppression involved or from the District are not published online, but here is a reference to some of those that are:

Nottingham v Maltese Cat Limited [2019] NZCA 246 (24 June 2019)

That is just back to 2015, Nottingham has a long legal history.

I think in all but one of those Nottingham lost his case.

There is one appeal he won, where a High Court judge supported a District Court judge ruling that Nottingham was in contempt of Court, but due to the judge not following procedures correctly the finding was set aside.

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