R v Hofmann [2017] NZDC 26663

Published 14 June 2018

Pre-trial application — admissibility of propensity evidence — previous conviction evidence — indecent assault — R v Mahomed [2011] NZSC 52 — Rei v R [2012] NZCA 398. The defendant was charged with indecent assault, and had previous convictions for indecent acts in relation to other adult women. The Crown wished to adduce evidence of conviction and circumstances of the previous indecent acts to demonstrate the defendant's propensity to act in a sexually aggressive or persistent way towards adult women. The defendant's previous offending involved him exposing himself and masturbating. The court noted the common features between all offences and the present allegations in that they are sexually motivated offences, and opportunistically carried out against adult women who are alone. The court recognised that dissimilarities were present in the "pattern" of offending including the age of the victims, when the offending occurred, and the location of the offending. The court found that the propensity evidence was unlikely to predispose a jury against the defendant, therefore the application was granted. The propensity evidence of the defendant's previous convictions for similar offending was admissible as evidence against the defendant. Judgment Date: 24 November 2017