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Investment manager cleared of assault

An Auckland investment and KiwiSaver manager charged with assault following a fracas that left his neighbor with an injured eye, has been acquitted by a jury after pleading self-defence.  

Wednesday, March 20th 2024, 11:28AM 4 Comments

by Andrea Malcolm

The judge refused an application for permanent name suppression, however the man’s lawyer has been given leave to appeal.

In the Auckland District Court this month, the jury heard how it has been almost a year since rising tensions, involving windows overlooking the complainant’s property and a screen overshadowing the investment manager’s garden, blew up.

On the evening of Good Friday last year, the investment manager had been playing the macarena loudly and repeatedly outside and the neighbor sprayed the speaker with a hose. This prompted the investment manager to jump the fence and the two men began a physical fight, with the complainant’s wife spraying them both with a hose.

The investment manager landed blows to the neighbor’s head, but the complainant reciprocated and split the investment manager’s eye also.

After an hour of deliberations the jury found the investment manager not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure.

The day after the decision, defense lawyer, John Munro, applied for his client’s interim name suppression to be made permanent.

In rejecting the application, Judge Evangelos Thomas said the investment manager’s firm had temporarily suspended him and taken no disciplinary action pending the outcome of the case.  He said an internal employment process would continue regardless of publication of the man’s name, and any suggestion he could lose his job was entirely speculative. Likewise, any suggestion client’s of the firm would leave was also speculative.

Tags: KiwiSaver

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Comments from our readers

On 20 March 2024 at 4:19 pm Pragmatic said:
It is a disappointing reaction from the investment manager’s company to suspend him prior to the court process determining whether he was guilty or otherwise. This point is also exacerbated by the fact that neither the investment manager’s name nor the company he works for have been publicly disclosed.
On 21 March 2024 at 2:07 pm Do what is right said:
That is the way of The World now Pragmatic! Guilty until proven innocent.

Should an innocent person such as in this case have their name protected? Yes probably as they will be tarnished for something they did not do!
On 21 March 2024 at 8:07 pm Pragmatic said:
Yep - nice to know that your employer has your back.
On 22 March 2024 at 12:18 pm Backstage said:
What wasn't speculative was what happened. An employer would be within their right based on the arrest to consider the reaction they took.

Had the investment manager struck my son as reported I would be upset. It appears two humans were involved in bad behavior. If I was the employer, I would want to think about my reaction to this arrest in the first instance.

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