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Tony Veitch Guilty Plea

16 April 2009

Tony Veitch Guilty Plea

Tony Veitch is to be acknowledged for owning up to the injury he inflicted on his former partner, Kristin Dunne-Powell.

The broadcaster today pleaded guilty to injuring with reckless disregard and was sentenced to nine months supervision, 300 hours community service and a $10,000 fine. He must also attend an anti-violence programme if his probation officer decides it is necessary.

Tau Huirama, CEO (Strategic Relationships) of the anti-violence group Jigsaw, says this was a case of serious domestic violence. He looks forward to seeing the evidence that Tony Veitch has dealt fully with his violent behaviour.

“I understand Tony Veitch has undergone counselling but what has he done to change his behaviour? What is the next step he is taking?” asks Mr Huirama. “Attending a stopping violence programme would be a good start. He needs help to look hard at his behaviour and know how to stop himself acting like this again.”

The victim had her spine fractured in two places and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. In a media statement today Tony Veitch said he’d believed they’d parted on good terms.

Mr Huirama, who has worked with some of New Zealand’s most violent offenders, says the first stage is admitting fault but real accountability comes when the offender takes steps to change his behaviour.

“Until that happens it’s hard to know how safe a formerly abusive man will be with other people, particularly women.

“The ‘injuring with reckless disregard’ charge carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. Tony Veitch is fortunate to have avoided prison. He can now use the opportunity to show his family and friends, viewers and fans he can continue to change for the better.”

Jigsaw is a network of 32 organisations throughout New Zealand working to end child abuse and family violence.


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