Andre Hueber at the HoS reports:

One of the country’s most notorious criminals has been awarded $3500 compensation – for breach of privacy and hurt feelings.

The man, who is currently serving a prison sentence, has been convicted of crimes including attacking a police officer, unlawful possession of firearms, aggravated robbery, theft, burglary and trying to escape from custody.

But he took umbrage when he learned that the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) had wrongly listed him as having a conviction under the heading of “domestic violence”. …

He said the stress and injury to his feelings, aggravated by the MSD’s unlawful actions, meant “nothing less than monetary compensation and an apology is acceptable to me”. …

The tribunal decided his privacy had been breached, he had suffered emotional harm, and he was entitled to a payout. Without him asking, the tribunal also ordered that he not be identified, in order to protect his family. …

MSD chief executive Peter Hughes issued a terse statement to the Herald on Sunday.

“His violent criminal history speaks for itself and he has spent much of his life in prison,” Hughes said. “

“He said our refusal to put a note on his file when he originally asked us caused him considerable distress, loss of dignity, humiliation and that his feelings were hurt. He then wanted money from us. I declined to pay him anything.”

But, said Hughes, the tribunal had ordered $3500 compensation and – although he disagreed with the decision – he would comply.

I think what offends me most is not the $3,500 but the name suppression, so that New Zealanders can not find out for themselves what his full criminal history is.

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