A 20-year-old man from Gisborne, who stands accused of assaulting an elderly woman during the intense Posie Parker counter-protest in Auckland, has been granted diversion.
Initially appearing in the Auckland District Court on April 20, the man was granted interim name suppression, which will remain in effect until the conclusion of the legal proceedings.
Although scheduled to appear in court yesterday, a registrar informed the Herald that the man had been accepted into the police diversion scheme, rendering the appearance unnecessary. The court expects to receive a progress report on the case by October 9.
Footage circulating on social media following the March event depicted a heated confrontation between the two groups in Albert Park, located in central Auckland. The video captured a man striking a woman repeatedly in the face. In April, the police confirmed an arrest had been made for common assault.
Women's rights activist Kellie-Jay Keen, popularly known as Posie Parker, decided to cancel her two-event New Zealand tour after violent counter-protesters interrupted her planned speech in Albert Park.
Suzanne Levy, a spokesperson for Speak Up For Women, expressed concern over the court's decision to grant diversion in relation to the incident at the Let Women Speak event in Albert Park, referring to it as a "dangerous cultural shift."
"We extend our aroha to the victim and we will continue to publicly oppose radical gender ideology."
Following the first court appearance in April, controversial restaurateur and former Auckland mayoral candidate Leo Molloy taunted the accused man, stating, "You better get used to this - it's the rest of your life." However, Molloy ceased his taunting when the defendant and an older relative passed by a police officer.
Molloy later informed the New Zealand Herald that he had done his best to expose the man prior to his arrest and intended to attend all future court hearings. He condemned mob violence as reprehensible.