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The Trials Of A Witness

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch, Dec 31 NZPA - A young man has been urged by the judge to keep co-operating with the police, in the hope that his misfortunes might eventually be over.

They weren't looking much like ending when he was arrested on warrant yesterday and held in custody overnight.

But today, Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave released him straight away when the circumstances were explained.

The one piece of luck this man has had, was that crown prosecutor Deidre Orchard happened to be in court on New Year's Eve to deal with an immigration matter and knew all about the case.

The man was the complainant in a trial where someone was charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The first trial had to be abandoned when two jurors were unable to continue.

The second trial was aborted when the complainant disappeared and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mrs Orchard explained today that it was eventually learnt that he had taken off when he had been threatened at the Court House.

The accused in that trial, and her partner, have now been charged with witness intimidation. A third trial is set for March.

The woman and her partner were granted bail, but the Crown appealed to the High Court and had them remanded in custody.

In the meantime, the complainant had been attacked again -- apparently over the same on-going dispute -- and was whacked with a pick-axe handle, breaking his cheek bone and putting him in hospital.

He has recovered from that, but the warrant to have him arrested was still hanging around and it was executed yesterday.

Mrs Orchard explained it all to Judge Neave this morning.

He noted the man's tribulations on the file so that the story could be recounted in court if his alleged attackers were eventually convicted and sentenced.

"The quickest way to get this all sorted out is to continue to co-operate," the judge told him.

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