Mihaka appeals assault conviction

  • 12/11/2015
Court (File)
Court (File)

Maori activist Dun Mihaka has taken his conviction for assaulting his neighbour after he was awoken from a night drinking to the Court of Appeal.

Best known for baring his backside before Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales during a royal visit in 1983, the 74-year-old is fighting his assault conviction.

Mihaka was offered a place to sleep by his neighbour on his couch on the Kapiti Coast when he misplaced his keys after a night drinking.

The next morning, his neighbour touched him on the shoulder to let him know coffee was being made.

Mihaka reacted by grabbing his neighbour by the throat which led him to believe he was going to die.

The neighbour managed to break the stranglehold after a one or two minutes, leaving a bruise on his neck.

Mihaka left the flat soon after and the neighbour made a complaint to the police.

His lawyer Brett Crowley argued Mihaka has been the victim of a miscarriage of justice as an argument for self-defence was not examined by the previous judges.

Mihaka maintains he was awoken by a punch to his shoulder that led him to believe he was being attacked.

In addition, Mr Crowley said Mihaka, who previously represented himself, was not permitted to cross-examine the neighbour's evidence by the judge hearing the original case.

He was sentenced to 80 hours' community work in the District Court.

Mihaka's first appeal was dismissed by the High Court in July.

NZN