Sisters fight to reveal identity of their abuser

The two sisters, fighting to have the name of the man who sexually abused them lifted, were nervous as they entered the High Court today.

Anne-Marie Forsyth and Karen Beaumont told ONE News a lot rides on this Judicial Review, as it is a test case for other survivors who want to prevent sex offenders from hiding in the shadow of a victim's statutory protection.

“This is about being able to speak up as a survivor of sexual abuse and being able to tell our whole story,” Ms Forsyth said.

The women had their own suppression lifted last July in the District Court.

“It’s not about them it's about the right of an offender to hide their identity from you from me, from children in the playground to their neighbour,” Sensible Sentencing Trust spokeswoman Ruth Money said.

The pair's lawyer, Nikki Pender told the High Court: "Now there is no longer any need to preserve their anonymity, their abuser's suppression order should automatically lapse or be discharged."

"We say it was never appropriate, but certainly it's no longer appropriate," she says.

The sisters are sitting at the back of the court with a group of supporters.

The defendant, who is fighting against having his name made public, was not in the courtroom today.

Jonathan Eaton, for the defendant, says "The applicants describe this as a test case. It might more appropriately be described as a protest case".

He says in his submission, "had my client known that the suppression order was merely conditional he would have appealed that aspect".

He argued it wasn’t in the interests of justice for the suppression to be lifted after a 20-year delay since the trial in 1995.

He says the sisters belief that his client was only granted name suppression to protect their identity, doesn't withstand scrutiny.

Justice Cameron Mander has reserved his decision. 

The two sisters had their own name suppression lifted last year but had to file for a judicial review to get their abuser’s name out in public Source: 1 NEWS



Get the brolly out it's going to be another wet one

It may look sunny now, but the rain and thunder is on its way, MetService is warning.

After a drenching yesterday, Auckland gets a brief reprieve from rain today but could be in for a thunderstorm and some gusty north westerlies. 

It's not just Aucklanders that need to take the brolly with them this morning with most of the North Island and west coast of the South Island expected to get rain today.

A wet day for the North Island is a frosty one for the South Island with snow expected on Lindis Pass, Milford Road and Arthurs Pass.

The ONE News rain radar shows Auckland and the central North Island are in for more heavy weather. Source: 1 NEWS


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