The Govt manager and the spy cam: Offender files Supreme Court appeal in bid to keep name suppressed

A Government manager who planted a spy camera in a gym bathroom was due to be named just after midnight after an order for permanent name suppression was overturned.

But he has mounted an appeal to try to keep his name secret.

In June last year the Herald revealed – after following the case since early 2018 – the man captured nearly 40,000 images of unsuspecting men and women in various states of undress.

He was originally granted a discharge without conviction and permanent name suppression.

Police appealed that result on the basis the wrong summary of facts was used at the sentencing, minimising the seriousness of the offending as an isolated incident.

The offending included four separate dates in November 2017.

One woman had told the court of “feeling sickened” at learning she was filmed naked in a “place where she had expected to be safe”.

After the High Court appeal, Justice Simon Moore said the man’s crime was “unequivocally serious” and involved “significant premeditation”.

Justice Moore deemed the consequences of a conviction would not be disproportionate.

He quashed the original sentence, entered a conviction and revoked permanent name suppression. The case was due to go back to the District Court for sentencing.

However, it was not the end of the matter, with the man going to the Court of Appeal.

Last month Justice Stephen Kos, Justice Susan Thomas and Justice David Gendall released their ruling, dismissing the man’s appeal.

Justice Thomas said the High Court had based its decision on the correct facts.

“It did consider mitigating factors, but concluded they were not significant enough to impact the gravity of the offending. We agree with that assessment. The offending was undoubtedly serious.”

As serious offending it “should not be hidden” by the lack of a conviction.

Justice Moore had also taken an “orthodox and correct approach” in distinguishing between the consequences of a conviction and those inherent of the offending itself.

The man also does not meet the “extreme hardship” threshold to warrant name suppression.

Furthermore, the principle of open justice clearly favoured publication, the decision said.

The Court of Appeal ruled the man’s name suppression would expire in 10 working days.

That expiration meant the Herald was set to name the man and reveal where he worked at 12.01 am tomorrow.

At 3.37pm today the man’s lawyer Ron Mansfield confirmed he had filed a memorandum advising the man intended to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mansfield also filed an Notice of Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court.

This means the man’s name suppression continues.

The suppression order will continue until the Supreme Court appeal is determined.

The man has 20 working days to file submissions in support of his application for leave.

The Herald will have 15 days to file counter submissions.

If leave is granted, a hearing date will be allocated.

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