MEDIA RELEASE: Satirists for Section 59 Debate
Judge Fairmind has granted an “honourable discharge without conviction” to All Black and political satirist John Keyhole, 50, recently convicted by a Christchurch District Court jury of assaulting his four year-old son in a public park. This “U-turn” as recent callers to Christchurch radio talk-back are calling it, came about this morning after the Judge learnt for the first time that Keyhole is actually a current member of the All Blacks, albeit a lesser know entity within the squad (see Full Squad Photo in today’s Dominion Post Bendon Underwear Colour Supplement, Page A3: Keyhole is next to the leggy, honey-blonde).
Full report see http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0906/S00032.htm
John Keyhole’s lawyer, Michaelah de Wontono-Veitch, a former All Black and current part time rugby sports commentator on Radio 95 BF#M, told Judge Fairmind – a well-known financial sponsor of the team – that his client, Keyhole, should receive an “honourable discharge – commensurate with his social status as an honourable All Black”, because “there is insufficient evidence to justify the imposition of any sentence involving prison, community work, or a fine”. Furthermore, the All Blacks and the New Zealand public would be “gutted”, he said, if Keyhole was unable to play for the team in important forthcoming international fixtures in the Seychelles and Easter Island Old Boys Reunion. His client, he said, could never wear the All Black jersey again nor hold his head erect, if he was forced by any order to do community work for any anti-smacking lobby group or like-minded charity. Embracing a culture of healthy ‘violence’ on the sports field was central to Keyhole being a successful rugby player, he said.
In his judgment Fairmind J. raised concerns about the quality of the evidence relating to the alleged assault – that two Christchurch JPs had examined at deposition hearings which had lasted less than ten minutes. The evidence used to convict Keyhole two weeks ago, presented by Crown counsel Ms Suzie Bradford QC and sourced from Christchurch Police District Commander Dave U-turn and ten of his male officers, had consisted of only two sources: (1) a hand-written note” by the honey-blonde-haired Constable Miss Candy Donowrong, concerning “alleged conversations she had with Keyhole and his accuser – Ministry of Education official, Miss Bellamy Payne,
on or near the Bridge of Forgetfulness, soon after the alleged assault on April Fool’s Day 2007, and (2) a series of six interview sheets filed at HQ by six male officers who had been unable to locate eye-witnesses to the alleged assault.
Fairmind J. noted that through Keyhole’s defence lawyer, Familio First, “Miss Candy” (known to her colleagues as “Sandy Candy”) had been accused by Keyhole of “putting words in [his Key’s] mouth” concerning the incident involving his son (Candy’s note stated that Keyhole said he had “hit is son”). He also recorded in his decision his concern that “Miss Candy” had never sought to take a written signed statement from Keyhole and in Court had provided no explanation whatsoever of this breach of standard procedure and natural justice. He speculated that “perhaps the very prompt arrival of Candy’s ten male police officer colleagues to the scene of the alleged offence – the Bridge of Forgetfulness – following her distress 111 emergency call to HQ – had caused her memory lapse leading to her failures to follow PPP (“Proper Police Protocol as it is referred to in Police HQ).”
Fairmind J. noted with alarm that the police had made a “U-turn” in the case prior to it coming before a jury: thereby raising serious issues of natural justice. Two days after investigating the alleged assault Christchurch District Commander Dave U-turn had contacted Keyhole to say no charges would be laid. Days later Miss Bellamy Payne – the lady who had given a statement to Constable Sandy Candy Donowrong on the bridge, accusing him of hitting his son, pressured police to revisit the matter as an “assault” based on a fresh allegation she made about the incident.
Well-know rock ‘n roll drummer John Keyhole, called “Ear#lick Jono” by his many admirers including his six boys and wife, is staging a free outdoor celebratory performance in the park near the Bridge of Forgetfulness to mark the resolution of his Court case. Angry Dad, the rock group of which Keyhole is a founding member, led by singer Flick Hardie-Boys, will perform new material including “Don’t Cry for Me Sandy Candy” and “Why the #lick Do You Payne Me So”. Crowd foot-stomping favourites “#lick the Little Fire-engine” and “#lick Goes the Shears Boys … #lick, #lick, #lick” and the band’s widely-loved rendition of Leon Cohen’s Bar-Mitzvah Moody Melody “Hallelujah!” are among others to be performed tonight.
Christchurch police have issued a warning that so-called “YES Vote protest lobbyists seeking to promote “anti-smacking” propaganda at or near the Bridge concert venue will be excluded by the Band’s Minders – local support bands The Police and Uturn.
SATIRE: John Keyhole: On When An “Ear-flick” is Assault
MEDIA RELEASE: Satirists for Section 59 Debate
26 May 2009
A prominent New Zealand political satirist punched his four-year-old son in the face, the Christchurch District Court was told last week.
John Keyhole, 50, well-known for his satirical attacks against laws he considers “foolish” and “an ass”, faced three charges of assaulting a child under the age of 14 at the Bridge of Forgetfulness on April Fool’s Day – 1 April 2007
In a Christchurch Press report on the alleged “assault”, published PRIOR to him being charged with assault and AFTER he had been informed by the Christchurch District Commander of Police, Dave U-turn; that he would NOT be charged; Keyhole was quoted as saying that he had only “flicked” his four year-old son’s ear to get his attention
“… the boy was being a brat – refusing to follow my instructions and was placing himself and his younger brother in danger – so I flicked him on the ear to get his attention….”.
Based on this report which made no mention of any physical contact other than one “ear flick”; one prominent opponent of the anti-smacking legislation, labelled it a “possible test of the new law if it ever goes to trial”.
The story made headlines prior to Keyhole being charged because he had contacted media to highlight – in his view – the “over-the-top reaction” of police to the incident: six police officers had been dispatched to the scene within minutes to investigate, following a call from a female police officer who had received a complaint from a member of the public on the bridge, about Keyhole’s behaviour.
When Keyhole was convicted of the offence of assault against a minor in the Christchurch District Court last week, strident lobbyists supporting the anti-smacking laws began dancing for joy in the streets nationwide. Some have vowed to keep the celebration going and remain “in party mode”until the referendum that is to be held nationwide in late July on the controversial legislation, is over.
Judge Lawrence Fairmind yesterday told jury members in the two-day trial, to “be scrupulously fair-minded and put any idea right outside their minds, that the trial was a trial of the merits of the anti-smacking legislation”. He used this “highly technical language” to describe the law, he said – “to honour the Green MP who had first coined the colourful green term in her Green Party’s first green media release on the proposed green law, under her name, issued on the 30 January 2008.”
[see: http://www.green.org.nz/node/12844 “The Greens are designing a bill that will stop parents physically punishing their children, in line with United Nations demands…”].
The judge sternly instructed the jury to consider the case “neutrally, fair- mindedly, and impartially, and called them to disregard all media coverage of the case, especially media releases issued by those “linked to the Green, Rainbow, Red or Pink pro-or anti – smacking lobbies”. He directed jurors that even if they found that Keyhole had only “flicked” the ear of his boy and had not “punched him as alleged”, they would still have to recognise in their decision that an “ear flick” did still “constitute an assault” and that Keyhole had confessed to media that he had “flicked” the boy on the ear.
“An assault is a flick and a flick is an assault,” the Judge informed the jurors , in fair, mild-mannered and inoffensive tone of voice.
Crown counsel Ms Suzie Bradford QC told the Court that John Keyhole had “punched” his four year-old son “in the face” and “pulled his ear with such force that he had been traumatised”. According to a female “witness” on the bridge, he had used “stronger force” than that used in 1971 against a male police officer by an angry anti-apartheid protestor who is now a Green MP. The “witness”, who was unwilling to sign an affidavit confirming her observation concerning Keyhole’s behaviour, had viewed TVNZ historical news footage of the 1981 “assault” – that had led to the MP’s criminal conviction and was able to demonstrate to the court how she had made fair and favourable comparisons with the alleged “face-punch” incident involving Keyhole.
Bradford also alleged that Keyhole, based on the “witness report”, had lifted the skateboards of the boy and his two-year-old brother that they were on, before slamming them “with incredible force” back to the ground.
Defence counsel Familio Firstus QC said John Keyhole did not slam his sons’ equipment to the ground in any manner that could be considered an “assault” and had not “pulled” his son’s ear or “punched” him. Rather he had “flicked” his ear using a method he regularly used “in drumming” – he is a professional drummer in the well-known local rock band Angry Father. The Court was told the slamming of boards was “part of dad’s efforts to show the boys how to operate the brake pedal.”
In a defence based on “parental control”, Familio First QC argued that Keyhole had inadvertently “pulled” his son’s hair and “flicked his ear” in a desperate bid to prevent him launching his skateboard off into a “danger zone” – the ramp incline on the bridge.
Witness Beth Woody Do-Gooder, who was crossing the bridge, told the court she saw John Keyhole shouting at his children calling them f####@@!!###!! and f##@@!! – words she said she had “never, never heard” used by any kid or adult at her school where she taught and “certainly never on television during family viewing times or in PG –rated movies” she watched with her kids.
She said Keyhole yanked his son’s ear and hit him in the face with a clenched fist shaped like that of a keyhole. She demonstrated the fist position in court but was ordered by the judge to desist from going any further when she called for a volunteer to participate in an “action demo” as she called it.
Keyhole a married man and father of six boys, denied categorically that he had “punched” his son. As an encore to the defence case Keyhole was allowed by the judge to demonstrate his “ear flick” on a drum kit belonging to his fellow Angry Dad group member and long-time supporter Flick Hardie-Boys.
Keyhole told the court he had entered the “angry dad state of mind” after his younger son banged his head following a skateboard crash and his older brother became a “brat” insisting on his rights to continue riding his board.
The court was told the younger boy was visibly injured after the crash and that the older four year-old brother had tried to take off, against his father’s instructions, and skateboard from the same bridge incline where the accident had occurred earlier.
Having taken his boys and his younger daughter on to the bridge, Keyhole said he had lifted and dropped the younger boy’s skateboard with the child on it to give him a “realistic braking lesson”.
“I was pretty irate,” Keyhole.
“I wasn’t slamming, but I wasn’t being gentle.”
He told the court he grabbed his older son by the hair above his ear to stop the child because “he was adamant he was going to have a skateboard ride of his life while I was desperately trying to deal with his injured brother as well of keep my daughter away from the road-edge”.
Keyhole then, again, denied he had punched his son.
He said he told police he gave the boy “a bloody good flick” because he was “being a prat”. He said he regularly observed this pratish behaviour in the course of his work – observing and sketching politicians slagging each other off – behaviour that had on occasions led to grown male MPs hitting each other in the precincts of the House of Representatives. His published cartoons on the incident caused an uproar at the time.
He told the court he said to police: “I didn’t punch him [the four year-old] because if I did he’d look like him [his younger brother]” the two-year-old who injured his eye in the earlier crash. “If I had actually punched him, his face would have looked a lot worse for wear that that of Labour MP Trevor Mallard after he was slugged by National MP Tau Henare!” he added.
Keyhole confirmed that six male police officers turned up enthusiastically to investigate the incident, after having been contacted by an attractive female police officer, Miss Candy Donowrong, who had been in the area where the incident took place on the bridge. She had not seen the incident but had received a complaint from star Crown witness Beth Woody Do-Gooder and relayed a report to police HQ.
The allegations against Keyhole were investigated thoroughly on site by the six police officers who interviewed dozens of members of the public in the area who had seen and heard nothing, before deciding to let Keyhole continue on with his leisurely walk through the park with his three kids.
Six sworn police officers gave him independently corroborated verbal warnings – without swearing at him – not to use his drumming “flick method” on his kids and minimise his “colourful language”. They did not arrest him. Two days later their boss contacted Keyhole to inform him that no charges were going to be laid against him based on any of the allegations made by Miss Do-Goody or a report on the “incident” recorded by Miss Candy Donorong
Senior Constable Donorong who had been crossing the bridge at the time of the alleged altercation, said she heard the defendant repeatedly say “f…… listen” to his children.
She said Beth DoGooder alerted her to the incident involving the use of the f###!!! words in a public place.
Donorong said Keyhole then told facetiously her: “I hit the big one in the face and that is what I do and that lady [Miss DoGooder] can mind her own business.”
The jury trial concluded on Tuesday afternoon last week. To sum up events succinctly: Keyhole was convicted of assaulting a minor under the age of 14 years.
The Judge has reserved his judgment on the sentencing order but has indicated he may well consider favourably an application from Keyhole’s lawyer for “an honourable discharge without conviction”. He has indicated that he will not conclude his deliberations until he has heard word of the outcome of the nationwide referendum results on the anti-smacking law to be held in late July/early August 2009.
In a Special News Report carried on IT.com yoday, it has been revealed that Keyhole, after having been told by Christchurch District Commander of Police Dave Uturn (two days after the bridge incident occurred), that no charges would be laid by police against him; he was later contacted by Commander U-turn and told that the police had done a U-turn: three assault charges were to be laid against him.
When Keyhole requested an explanation from police he was told to “contact the media who advise police in all such decision-making”. He did and was informed:
“… the U-turn has come about by police because a referendum of the anti-smacking legislation is coming up. They do not want to be seen out of step with the anti-smacking lobbyists”.
SATIRE: Keyhole earbashes Ministry over “ear#lick”
MEDIA RELEASE: Satirists for Section 59 Debate
29 May 2009
Prominent New Zealand political satirist and rock’n roll drummer, John (“Ear#lick”) Keyhole, 50, recently convicted in Court of assault for “ear #licking” his four year-old son; this morning staged a noisy protest inside the Offices of the Ministry of Education in Wellington. Supported by his fellow Angry Dad band members, he provoked and painstakingly ‘earbashed’ Ministry of Education Secretary Dr Karina Knowitall and Head of the Teachers Council Director Dr Petty Lindylace over their failure to deregister two Eastern Bay of Plenty primary school teachers accused of engaging in systematic and serious child abuse (“corporal punishment”).
Witnesses reported that band members using drums and other props “raised the decibel level into the stratosphere within the Ministry Offices”, where normally only the gentle, sultry, rustling of education briefing papers being shuffled and signed, can be heard. They carried placards containing the headline accusations levelled at the named child abusers by the victims’ parents, highlighting their complaints that had been put in writing to the school boards, ignored by officials, then publicised recently in the NZ Herald last week. The report referred to the teachers having been “accused of whipping a boy round the legs”, “smacking a pupil and ordering a child to hit another so they knew what it felt like”; and “slaps around the legs, face, around the head and ‘nearly everywhere’”.
Angry Dad’s violent ear-bashing of the Ministry officials involved a cacophony directed by band lead singer, #lick Hardie-Boys, who wore a mock “Registered Teacher and Child Abuser” teaching smock with a rainbow-coloured sash. The “excessive din” generated by the protest action was reported by Ministry official Miss Bellamy Payne to an attractive off-duty policewoman, Constable Miss Candy Donowrong. She immediately paged Police HQ and six enthusiastic male police officers arrived at the protest nerve centre within minutes.
Keyhole was quickly arrested on the spot as his “ear-flick” drumming actions, directed he says “solely at his drum kit,” were perceived by the astute manly officers of the law, as directed “in a threatening and disciplinary manner – suggestive of correction” – against Dr Knowitall and Dr Petty Lindylace.
The upshot of the protest was that Keyhole and his band members’ serious concerns over the failure of Ministry officials to adequately sanction teachers accused of child abuse, were quickly relayed to the Director of New Zealand’s Child Protection Squad in Parliament Buildings – a well-known Green Party activist (details available on Wikipedia). She (unnamed) interrupted her riveting speech in parliament on legalising marijuana, when informed of the “Ministry incident” and then referred to it in her speech as “proof” that all MPs must demand that all “ear-#lickers” they know, and “all their myriads of supporters, be urged to vote YES in the forthcoming anti-smacking law referendum.”
In a Special News Report carried on IT.com late this morning, it was revealed that the aforementioned unnamed Green Party MP had been informed by Ministry officials about the systematic child abuse carried out by the registered teachers, just last week. She told IT.com that it was “shocking” but has said nothing more publicly about the “systematic child abuse”, excusing her silence as follows.
“I am too focused at present on contacting “ear-#flickers” and their supporters in my own electorate to tell them how, why and when to vote YES in the forthcoming “anti-smacking referendum.”