From today’s Herald
A convicted paedophile has been awarded $25,000 damages for invasion of his privacy after police alerted people in his neighbourhood to his presence.
Barry Brown – who has convictions for sexual offences dating back to 1982 – sued police in Wellington District Court for $80,000.
He was identified in 2001 after he was released from a five-year sentence for kidnapping and indecently assaulting a 5-year-old boy.
Police circulated leaflets including his photograph, physical description and information about his criminal past to residents of Strathmore, Wellington.
Mr Brown’s lawyer, Dale La Hood, yesterday issued a statement on behalf of his client, who, he said, was pleased with the decision in which his right to privacy was upheld.
This is utter madness. We pay the police and courts to catch and convict offenders. All information gathered in that process should be fully accessible to the public. After all we paid for its collection.
No-one, let alone criminals, have any right to privacy when they are acting in the public domain.
The police were perfectly correct to notify residents of Brown’s presence in their area and his predilections.
Brown should be a marked man, until such times as he proves he has conquered his evil side. Why should children be at unnecessary risk, merely to protect the feelings of Brown and his ilk.
In a sane society, Brown’s history would be a matter of easily accessible public record and police would be required to notify locals of his presence.