August 16, 2000
Lord of Rings Theft
Accused Gets Name Suppression
Judge Nicola Mathers said in Auckland District Court that revealing the 39-year-old self-employed company director's name could lead to publication out of proportion to the offence.
It would also do "substantial harm" to his partner, children and ailing father, she said.
The man has been charged with stealing film scripts, VHS tapes, prop swords and photographs worth more than $1500. Now overseas, he has denied the charges and elected trial by jury.
Defence lawyer Marie Dyhrberg said the man had not yet told his father about the charges. Prosecutor Richard Marchant argued that if the man had been sufficiently concerned he could have taken the time to tell his family.
The judge noted that a man charged with a related offence had been granted interim name suppression.
Peter Jackson, director of the multi-million dollar film, wrote a letter in support of making the man's name public. -NZPA