NZ Herald 28 Apr, 2021 06:00 am

Man's rape charges dismissed due to more than 40-year delay

Man's rape charges dismissed due to more than 40-year delay
The man's charges were dismissed on a narrow margin due to the lengthy delay.

Judge Kelly's decision cited a Supreme Court case, H and the Queen, which tackled how to deal with dismissal application under the relevant section of legislation when the defendant was no longer a young person.Judge Kelly said the allegations were "very serious", and that there was public interest in pursuing proceedings." Judge Kelly also noted while the man had a steady offending history for burglary, fraud, and other dishonesty offending until the mid 80s, he had no charges or convictions for sexual offending.With those factors considered, Judge Kelly granted the application for dismissal.

While it was not "strictly necessary" for her to then consider the alternative applications, Judge Kelly indicated she would not have allowed the dismissal under the other pieces of legislation.The dismissal was possible under section 322 of the Oranga Tamariki Act, which states a Youth Court judge may dismiss any charge against a young person if they are satisfied the time that has elapsed between the date of the alleged offence and the court hearing has been unnecessarily or unduly protracted.

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