A COURT victory may finally be in sight for a man waiting to see if his conviction will be overturned for assaulting his misbehaving four-year old son.
Father-of-six James Mason, 52, a hotel maintenance man and musician, said being convicted had gutted him.
Dominion Post Wednesday 20 October p. A6. www.dompost.co.nz
The Christchurch family’s income dropped hundreds of dollars a week when his wife, Ann, gave up work so she could take the children to and from school instead of him.
“I didn’t want to be in the situation of having a parent moaning about me being there.” He said that on one level it did not matter what anyone else thought he did because he knew the truth, but he was waiting with bated breath.
“I don’t want to get off on a technicality, but if that is the best I can get, that’s the best I can get,”
Mason admitted flicking his son’s ear when the boy looked as if he was going to ride his bike down the same ramp where his younger brother had just been injured.
However, two allegations were made against Mason – that he punched the boy and pulled his ear – and combined in a single charge of assault.
The effect of being found guilty without knowing the basis for the conviction, whether it was for a punch or tugging the boy’s ear, was debated in the Supreme Court yesterday.
The court looks likely to overturn Mason’s conviction after the Crown conceded the jury should have been told it had to be unanimous about which acts were proved when a single charge covered two specific allegations.
Mason has already done the sentence of nine-months’ supervision.
As part of the sentence he had to take a parenting course, which he said covered what not to do but did not tell a parent what to do when things went wrong and a responsible parent felt they had to restrain a child to keep them safe.