Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • Ian MacKay,

    We were just discussing legal, justice-type stuff, because, in case you hadn't noticed, he broke his ex-girlfriend's back. In four places. And, uh, put her in a wheelchair.

    And that's what this is about. At the end of the day. When it comes down to it. Pure and simple. There is no prettying it up, or justification. There is no circumstance mitigating enough. Just this.

    It is not really. It may be what happened, but cracking 3 (or 4, or 5 depending on the "facts") vertebrae is not quite breaking your back. We don't really know. Did he kick her in the head? Maybe but the our judgements are predicated on media reports. Trust them? Don't really.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Especially given this article painting a rather different pitcure of events than I suspect most of us had in our heads thanks to the sketchy media reporting of it (eaarrghh).

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4615055a10.html

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    but cracking 3 (or 4, or 5 depending on the "facts") vertebrae is not quite breaking your back.

    Is it not? I must tell the family doctor who treated my sister for 2 cracked vertebrae some years ago. He'll be glad of your expert opinion, I'm sure.

    I think, as Danyl pointed out somewhere, we're now basing our judgement on his public confession.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    But Andrew, his public confession described "losing it". The detail was offered by media. It may be true and he may be a pocket sized thug. But the judgements and not on known facts. Perhaps he slapped her and she stepped back and fell onto the corner of the dressing table. Awful. Wrong but possible and not necessarily a savage beating. I very anti-violence, antismacking etc. but....

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Yeah Ian, it was just an innocent mistake. An innocent mistake he felt worth $100k to cover up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    i do have a problem with the view that we shouldn't even try [for a conviction]

    But what is enough? Are you saying that unless the police drag him into court on charges, not enough has been done to try? Because I will be highly fucked off if tens-of-thousands of dollars are thrown at a prosecution that's doomed from the start. Bringing a criminal case is not cheap, and the standard for deciding that a jury should hear the evidence is hopefully higher than "He's a celebrity, the minuscule chances of a conviction be damned."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Pulled from Olympics role, and comments from workmates towards bottom of story:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10521008

    Ian, we already discussed that point yesterday.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    a prosecution that's doomed from the start.

    With a filmed confession? I think I could probably litigate that one successfully.

    Maybe a resident lawyer could comment?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Andrew, also discussed yesterday - saying you "lashed out" does not amount to enough of a confession of assault. TVNZ interviewed Scott Optican so presumably is on their site somewhere.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    "lashed out" does not sound the same to me as 'i broke her back in 4 places'


    i think of lashed out as maybe a slap that you immediately go 'oh no'
    as compare to jake the muss style bash

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "I very anti-violence, antismacking etc. but...."

    Yep, you never hit me once while I sat in your English class. I hope I have the right Ian MacKay.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    It is not really. It may be what happened, but cracking 3 (or 4, or 5 depending on the "facts") vertebrae is not quite breaking your back. We don't really know. Did he kick her in the head? Maybe but the our judgements are predicated on media reports.

    If we all followed your terrifyingly stringent standards for facts and evidence before discussing any issues, Ian, I think we might end up shutting down PA System altogether...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    Yeah Ian, it was just an innocent mistake. An innocent mistake he felt worth $100k to cover up.

    Umm......make that $170k according to....

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10520973

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Inflation

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • michael o'brien,

    If we all followed your terrifyingly stringent standards for facts and evidence before discussing any issues, Ian, I think we might end up shutting down PA System altogether...

    Yeah, why let a little common sense get in the way of a good discussion when we can have conjecture and hysteria.....

    shattered back...

    Kicked repeatedly...

    smashed...

    The facts of the matter are that none of us were there and so any "facts and evidence" that we have is all supposition...

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    At least the deal wasn't in cheddar...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Am I just a bit tired and cynical on a Friday afternoon or is there an implication in that article that because the payout was 170k, rather than 100k, that things have changed?

    One thing is for sure, the timing of the second payout makes it less likely to be for “loss of income” or whatever was in the statement that Holmes wrote.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Michael, we know enough - and it seems so do his employers. If the scant public details were not true wouldn't his lawyers have got injunctions and stopped further publication?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The facts of the matter are that none of us were there and so any "facts and evidence" that we have is all supposition...

    Oh yes, the time-honoured 'if a tree falls in the forest' analysis. That's a brilliant way to approach any and all issues. Isn't it funny how people keep crazily trying to, like, *find out stuff*, when they could just give up, safe in the assumption that if they weren't there, they have no hope of ever knowing anything?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Perhaps he slapped her and she stepped back and fell onto the corner of the dressing table.

    Yes, of course, let's just make things up ...

    On the other hand, before Veitch's press conference, the Dom Post stated as fact that Veitch repeatedly kicked his partner as she lay on the floor. They appear to have their original source, plus a Vodafone workmate who testified to the grievous impact on the victim:

    Veitch, 34, has made no comment on the secret payout and the 2006 assault, in which he repeatedly kicked Ms Dunne-Powell, fracturing her vertebrae in four places and inflicting a head injury.

    She spent months away from her job as Vodafone's general manager of marketing, had a breakdown and was later forced to quit work.

    A former Vodafone colleague said Veitch had kicked his former lover as she lay on the floor of his bedroom. "He kicked her so hard he broke four vertebrae ... She couldn't walk.

    "She went from a lovely sporty girl to someone who lost a lot of back muscle. She was seriously weakened."

    Not a word of anything the paper reported has been denied, despite the staging of a press conference, which one would think would be the ideal place to do so.

    There has been a good deal of effort put into imagining more benign explanations for these serious injuries. I think the most straightforward explanation is that what the newspaper has reported is basically true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    The facts of the matter are that none of us were there...

    You're very confident of that - what evidence do you have to support that assertion?

    Not that I'm saying one of the commenters here is either of the principals in disguise, it's just that you obviously feel confident enough to make that assumption in the absence of evidence either way.

    We take short cuts in thinking like that all the time, otherwise we could barely venture an opinion on the weather unless we're outside. Unless we're a Crown prosecutor or juror or other maker of important decisions, it's ok to do that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Shep: Not me. I have never taught English to anyone, except my sons of course.
    Danielle:

    If we all followed your terrifyingly stringent standards for facts and evidence before discussing any issues, Ian, I think we might end up shutting down PA System altogether...

    All in favour of discussing issues and ideas and being wrong at times. But when a person is condemned without trial I, think that it is a form of bullying. Are you suggesting that PA is run on our not attempting to use facts as a basis for opinions? Sounds a bit fanciful to me.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    If the scant public details were not true wouldn't his lawyers have got injunctions and stopped further publication?

    In general I agree....... but for maybe two possible exceptions..... If reality is actually WORSE than the rumours, you might tend to stay silent.....

    Or, more likely, if reality is bad, and the rumours are "close enough", you might prefere to live with the rumours staying just rumours than by refuting them in a legal setting.....

    "I'm going to sue you for saying I kicked her five times..... " doesnt look so good when the court testimony is " I only kicked her 3 times".... You might win the defamation case, but confirm publicly just exactly how much of an arsehole you really are...

    A slight change to an old saying...
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a dick than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    But when a person is condemned without trial I, think that it is a form of bullying.

    Good grief, poor Tony Veitch. Ian, whose fault is it that he didn't go to trial?

    Please don't say it was the victim's fault for not reporting it. I don't buy that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • michael o'brien,

    That's a brilliant way to approach any and all issues. Isn't it funny how people keep crazily trying to, like, *find out stuff*, when they could just give up, safe in the assumption that if they weren't there, they have no hope of ever knowing anything?

    But we're not trying to"find out stuff" here (and by here I mean "The System".
    All we are doing (right now) is chinese whispering....

    Yes, of course, let's just make things up ...

    Wasn't the post yesterday, when someone said "shattering her back", making stuff up?
    The article that you quote verbatim above says "fracturing".
    All degrees of badness I know, but these things do have a habit of growing....

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

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