R v Tyrone Wallace [2016] NZDC 1303

Published 01 August 2016

Name suppression — Criminal Procedure Act 2011, ss 200, 202 — interim name suppression —permanent name suppression — R v Liddell [1995] 1 NZLR 538 — unlawful sexual connection. A well-known New Zealand actor and a company with whom he had connections were granted name suppression after the actor was accused of sexually assaulting four women who were receiving acting coaching from him. The first applicant applied under s 200(5) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (the Act) for continuation of the order for interim name suppression which was granted at earlier proceedings. The second applicant (The Company) applied for a permanent order of suppression pursuant to s 202 of the Act, on the basis that they were connected with the first applicant and publication would likely cause undue hardship. The Company were connected in that some of the alleged offending occurred on their premises. An order was made for continuation of the interim order for the suppression of the first applicant’s name, address and any identifying particulars, including ethnicity and age. The Company was granted permanent suppression. The first applicant gave evidence (which was supported by evidence from those within the industry) that he would suffer extreme hardship (professionally) if his name was published. The Judge set out the s 200(2)(a) “extreme hardship” test; the hardship must be such that it is excessive given that the norm is that persons subject to criminal proceedings will have their details publically available for publishing. The hardship that falls on the individual must be beyond what would be contemplated to flow from being involved in criminal proceedings. In considering the application the Judge was concerned about the seriousness of the allegations, which carry a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment. The Judge noted the level of detail the first applicant went into as to the nature of his defence and considered the need to balance the right of openness with the presumption of innocence. The balance was in favour of continuation of the order because the extreme hardship threshold was satisfied. Determined that publication would result in undue hardship to The Company and its director; both granted permanent name suppression.. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements.* * *