TODAY |

Man discharged without conviction for Labour youth camp assaults that sparked political firestorm

A person who brought forward allegations about being assaulted at a Young Labour Party summer camp has expressed incredible disappointment over a judge's decision today to discharge the defendant without conviction.  

Your playlist will load after this ad

The 21-year-old previously admitted to two reduced charges of common assault. Source: 1 NEWS

The defendant attended his sentencing hearing today after admitting to assaulting two young men at the event.

Judge Russell Collins refused to grant the 21-year-old permanent name suppression, but his identity will remain secret for the time being with his lawyer appealing that decision.

The man was facing two charges of assault, for putting his hand down the pants of two young men, at the camp near Waihi in February last year.

In September, the man stood trial at the Auckland District Court, after pleading not guilty to five charges of indecent assault in relation to two young men and two young women.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Party bosses today announced a full inquiry. Source: 1 NEWS

However, the trial came to an abrupt end after the accused reached a plea deal with the case prosecutors, pleading guilty to two amended charges of assault in relation to the two males.

The remaining charges were withdrawn or dismissed.

The whole experience has been difficult, one of the victims told 1 NEWS today, adding that they were "incredibly disappointed" by the discharge without conviction. The person declined further comment. 

Earlier at today's hearing in the Auckland District Court, Judge Collins described the gravity of the man’s offending as low.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Nigel Haworth spoke alongside Jacinda Ardern today after allegations of sexual assault from the youth camp emerged. Source: 1 NEWS

He told the court he believes his actions were born out of drunken stupidity, and he doesn’t believe it was done for any sexual gratification.

Upon discharging him without conviction, Judge Collins said, “He is a talented, capable young man, who should treat today as a challenge to not only get on with his own life but use his talents to contribute positively to society".

The allegations sparked a huge political storm, including a review of the Labour Party’s internal processes and policies.

Then party president Nigel Haworth said it had "failed in its duty of care" to the victims.