New Zealand Police v Riley Nicholson [2016] NZDC 3299

Published 11 July 2016

Name suppression — Criminal Procedure Act 2011, ss 200, 203. Interim name suppression was granted for a defendant who had pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual conduct with a young person and supplying alcohol to a minor. The Judge explained that whether or not to grant name suppression involved a two-step process. Firstly, the grounds of hardship advanced must be likely to occur and meet the standard required under the Act. Secondly, the defendant’s interests must be balanced against those of the public and the media’s right to publish Court proceedings. Under s 200 the balancing exercise is discretionary. Hardship caused to the defendant, parents and in-laws was seen as that which customarily flows from the nature of the allegations, and so did not satisfy s 200. However, the Judge expressed that in such a small community, harm to the defendant’s children would be extreme and that justified the defendant’s name and identifying particulars being suppressed. The complainant received automatic name suppression under s 203 of the Act. **Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements.