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Until Proven Innocent – David Dougherty – TV1 Sunday 8th

Filed under: Events,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 12:15 pm Mon 2nd February 2009

This week’s Sunday Theater at 8.30 pm on TV1 is a feature-length drama about the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of David Dougherty – falsely accused of rape.

After serving three-and-a-half years of his wrongful sentence, he received a public apology from Justice Minister Phil Goff and compensation of almost $900,000.

This case has been documented and discussed on MENZ since 1996

Sarah Barnett reports in the Listener promo Fight for Justice, David’s lawyer Murray “Gibson told reporters at the time of Dougherty’s release that his client, who screamed when he heard the guilty verdict, was all but broken by the experience.


  1. Thanks John. I am interested in seeing this. There are far to many instances in NZ justice where the police appear to focus on a person, collect only evidence that suits their case, then use it in court.

    This month in North & South there is an excellent critique of the Mark Lundy case. Mark allegedly murdered his wife & daughter in 2000.

    Read the article and reach your own conclusion.

    Further information visit

    I declare a conflict of interest, I know Mark, and used to work with him.

    Comment by Alastair — Mon 2nd February 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  2. Alastair (comment#1): I wouldn’t call it a conflict of interest because presumably there is no pecuniary or other gain for you at stake. Perhaps you are biased becasue you know him, but then that also places you in a better position to evaluate whether it’s credible to believe he did those horrific crimes.

    I agree with you totally about police methodology, caused by the nature of our adversarial justice system. So many cases seem to involve the police deciding whom to pin charges on then simply looking for evidence supporting their case and deliberately ignoring any facts that contradict their preference. The Courts even allow the police to withhold evidence inconvenient to their case, as with Peter Ellis when all the bizarre stories told by the complainants, clearly calling their remaining testimony into question, were not presented to the jury.

    What also worries me is that cases are prosecuted and people convicted on the argument “all other suspects could not have committed the crime so that leaves only the accused who must therefore have done it”. This was essentially the case for David Bain, with the help of considerable tampering with evidence by police.

    It’s quite remarkable how far our system has strayed from justice. Protections that previously existed against wrongful conviction have been steadily eroded, much of that process resulting from feminist argument that because many sex abuse cases failed this justified lowering the goal posts for conviction. What they didn’t mention was that any resulting increase in convictions would happen equally to truly innocent and guilty defendants. They don’t care about innocent men being convicted; it’s simply collateral damage and who cares about men anyway. Conveniently, the erosion of justice has only occurred for crimes mainly committed, or thought to be committed, by men.

    Similar erosion has occurred for family violence, for example by allowing Family Court judges to make “findings” about reality based on a claimed “balance of probability” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”. However, the erosion was predicated on a faulty belief that men overwhelmingly commit family violence. As the Family Courts start to take cognizance of the mounting research showing women commit a fair proportion of family violence, more women will experience the injustice resulting from erosion of protections against false conviction. When women realise they too are being disadvantaged we will probably see a change in legislation.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Mon 2nd February 2009 @ 4:09 pm

  3. I share a similar story would someone from MENZ issues like to do a story on
    my experience?

    I would be keen to tell my story as a follow up to the one screened several
    weeks ago regarding men victims of false sexual allegation. I have always
    been, and still am, a model citizen with no history of any trouble at
    school, at work or ever with the law.However my ex wife, and her sister both
    known liars and trouble makers had me jailed for historic rape charges some
    25 years ago on charges against her sister, something which never happened
    as payback for me leaving the 23 year marriage. In spite of the fact two of
    her cousins testified against her of my behalf I was found guilty with
    absolutely no evidence. As well as an innocent man getting sentenced for 6
    years my ex wife got an annulment through the catholic church and married my
    former best friend with all the trimmings. There is a lot more to be told
    and I am considering writing a book about the vendetta of the past four
    years by the ex family.

    I have since remarried my first girlfriend who was the first girl I ever
    kissed. We married 30 years after we first broke up. Our e mail address
    phinalea is pronounced finally as Philip and Lea are finally together as
    husband and wife. I am out on appeal as we proved beyond a doubt that the
    alleged rape could never have possibly happened. I was released the day of
    my appeal almost 9 months into my 6 year sentence. My lawyer told me this is
    extremely rare even with all the evidence we had. It is so wrong that this
    sort of thing is happening so often purely out of spite by bitter ex’s
    against innocent men. Surely we are the true victims and our spouses serve a
    sentence with us . My ex sister in law is now expecting a child after
    several failed attempts. I believe she used the “blood money” she obtained
    from ACC for the latest fertility treatment.

    I hope to hear from you. There are a lot more twists and turns in my story.
    Most of Blenheim ask how could this happen to a well respected man in this
    day and age. We have not really come far from the witch hunt days of the
    middle ages!


    Name Removed

    Comment by Name Removed — Wed 4th February 2009 @ 11:34 am

  4. Philip, yours is a sad tale. Instantly I believe you. Sadly, there are a lot of us in similar situations, not all to the level necessarily of false rape allegations. I say “sadly” because, with the exception of a very few who show an interest in this web-site, basically no-one in New Zealand gives a fig. To the average New Zealander, your being a cosa, means about as much as saying you fell of your bike. Go ahead and write the book. Sorry, no-one will read it. Can you imagine someone reading a book that amounts to saying “hey, please feel sorry for me, I fell off my bike”.

    Sorry, Philip, there are lots of good things about having been born in the middle of the 20th century. Being a victim of the feminisation of society, for the first time ever in tens of thousands of years of human life as we know it, is not one of those good things. What has happened to you (and to me in its own way), is nothing other than a sign of the times, and no more than our being shit out of luck.

    But let’s be honest, Philip, would you be reading the (your) book, if it were written by the guy down the road from you? I doubt it.

    Get used to it. I sincerely hope you get fairness in your legal battle. But the sooner you realise that sympathy will never be on offer from New Zealanders, the better you will come to terms with retaining you sanity. Sorry, but if you want sympathy or above, you’re going to be a very disgruntled man, and you will probably die that way.

    Sincerest best wishes with your situation.

    Comment by John — Mon 16th February 2009 @ 5:43 pm

  5. Mr Hayward
    You state you share a similar story — would someone from MENZ issues like to do a story on my experience?
    I have been following your story and court cases and yes I bet someone would like to do a story on their experience — with you as an ex husband.
    One has to ask you — has your ex wife and sister been charged for their so called known lies and trouble making as you said,? If so when????????? Or is it just making a statement.
    You say your wife married “my former best friend” with all the trimmings. Your best friend must have thought she was wonderful to marry her. So what does that say about you? Jealousy I guess quote “with all the trimmings” – did you and your wife not have all the trimmings?
    Good on you for marrying your first girlfriend – I believe you were married as soon as possible after the marriage break up — did you require the security??
    You say you are out on appeal? You did not state the process of the court. First court case — who was the liar — your former wife declared that a jury member was known to herself and you — so the case was dismissed. The second case — you were found guilty on all charges but one (sex without a condom). You hired a smart lawyer whom found a technical error in the Judge’s summing up and successfully won an appeal for you. Your third trial held in Nelson because you were too well known, was a hung jury.
    You stated “I am out on appeal as we proved beyond a doubt that the alleged rape could never have possibly happened”. This statement proves you to be a liar because if this was proved you would not be facing a further trial. The error was error in the Judge’s summing up Police and Crown would not be taking the case back to the court.
    One has to ask you the bitterness “bloody money” she obtained from ACC for the latest fertility treatment. Where has your money come from — to support you and your wife???
    “Most of Blenheim ask how could this happen to a well respected man in this day and age?” Perhaps you need to change this statement to most of your friends because one in Blenheim happens to know this case , finds your ex-wife to be a very honest, hard working mother whom cares for her children, and who has had to deal with so many lies about her and this is from a man who is as dishonest as hell itself.I will keep watching this case to see if Justice is upheld.

    Comment by Mrs J King — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 2:04 pm

  6. If women could be arrested and imprisoned on the word of a man then maybe your stance might be somewhat different.
    You appear to be a supporter of his ex rather than an impartial observer.
    I can show you absolute proof that women don’t get charged for lying or perjuring themselves in our New Zealand Courts. The fact that a woman has not been charged for committing perjury or lying does not constitute evidence of anything other than a crooked Justice system.
    I have an ex-wife who has attempted to kill my children on multiple occasions and has offered blatant perjuries and yet has never been charged for any of her crimes. Your logic would assume that I’m lying and that she is the innocent victim of me. She also has friends that support her view despite them being wrong.
    I think you should stop choosing sides. Your post appears to support Mr Hayward’s claims. My ex-wife also enlisted the support of stalkers who tried to cause further damage to me and my children. Your biased opinion has no value except to alert readers to your own flawed thinking which is based on your belief that his ex is honest and he is not and therefore he must be guilty.
    If I were Mr Hayward I would be seeking advice on having you charged for Contempt of Court.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  7. You are speaking from your own case. I am speaking on what i definatly know. I feel for you if that is what you have been through. I do not support any women that would try to kill her children. I hope you can get some sort of Justice. I speak about what i know, and i follow this case because of what i know. As for you saying he should go to a lawyer about me, well he was the first to advertise the case on here, and there are ALWAYS 2 sides to a story and i know both. Alot of People tend to just believe what someone will say and not get all the facts. I am a person that knows both sides and know from the past. So this is why i couldnt believe that this person would advertise when nothing is settled.

    Comment by Mrs J King — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 5:05 pm

  8. “But let’s be honest, Philip, would you be reading the (your) book, if it were written by the guy down the road from you? I doubt it.”

    With all respect John, the OP was about David Dougherty, and the film made about his case. Maybe you couldn’t be bothered watching it, but I did. I expect the film’s makers had a larger audience in mind than the few people here (and got it).

    You’re probably right that book sales would not be that high, but that’s more to do with the nature of books and what works best in them, rather than any lack of public interest in how our legal system really works.

    Few subjects grip public fascination as tightly as the idea that what we think is real is in truth an illusion – conspiracy theories thrive because people are so determined to believe that the official view of anything cannot be trusted (even when it is true).

    If Mark Sainsbury’s team had the courage to devote a half hour showcasing 5 or 6 cases of false allegations of rape, and the enormous harm that it does, the entire country would be incensed to outrage – a good number refusing to believe any of it to be true, the rest horrified because they would find it only too believable. This is not a subject to which we have all become indifferent – it is more like abortion or euthanasia. Too hot to touch.

    Comment by rc — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  9. Dear Mrs King,

    if you are establishing an argument contesting the facts and merits of a case, where Philip Hayward’s own publication clearly identifies him as does your reply (in part anyway if honest), exposing family circumstances, relative to other associates and parties to the proceedings, your introduction appears to me, at least, as particularly unwise for its constitution and quite possibly spiteful.

    While my response is not intended to discourage your post, (under serious analysis the opposite), it is to request that you tidy up your language and presentation of contested fact. I use strong language because you are not dealing with light material and people’s lives can and would be destroyed from the information you use to contest proceedings that have been before the Court where if your perception of the fact is in any way incorrect then your morality for ethical cause should be and will be challenged.

    I appreciate and accept that Mr Hayward has instigated the information and that you are responding, but if you are not a party to these proceedings, then you should be particularly cautious. Mr Hayward is entitled to his support discussing his proceedings as he would have them heard. He is opening himself to a legal challenge from those others party to the case or within close proximity or interest to those proceedings. This would mean that if you were laying allegations from a position of legal entitlement then you would be acting unusually to open your arguments on a public website, and I would add particularly foolishly.

    If, however, you have information that you feel constitutes that consistency of ‘whistle blowing’ then please clean up your text and prepare for a response — in particular from me and in particular your capacity to analyses the facts you contest. This in brief is to say that this is not your forum. Please make sure that if you want to pursue this conversation that you are able to very thoroughly establish your argument.

    Yours sincerely,
    Benjamin Easton
    LAOS New Zealand
    (of a) father’s coalition

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  10. Thank-you for your consideration of my own plight with dealing with NZ Court/NZ Police gender discrimination. I hold no hope of justice being free of corruption in NZ but I’ve moved on anyway.
    I would find it difficult to believe that you are supporting the truthful party unless you were present during the alleged rape. Disliking someone for other reasons is a poor substitute for guilt of such a serious crime.
    And yes, despite what you say, if I was in Mr Haywards position I would be seeking to have you charged for Contempt of Court. But, that’s just me :D.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 6:34 pm

  11. The thing is we are not in court, so contempt of court. What i have said was in the paper. Read.I was not the first to have a say and broadcast alot of lies over the internet. We could go on and on. But it gets us nowhere. There are always going to be people that will believe what they want to believe no matter if the truth is stareing them in the face. My final comment is, you seem to be siding with Mr Hayward, which makes me think you are probaly his friend. Cause if you arent then you are just judging on what he has said on here, without both sides. Bit one eyed dont you think. Like you i wasnt at the alledged rape, but i do know both sides. Do you?

    Comment by Mrs J King — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  12. Pray do tell us both sides Mrs J King. Tell us all the facts. So far your comments haven’t provided anything to suggest we shouldn’t believe Philip Hayward. I assume from your ungrammatical comment on the matter that there are currently no Court proceedings in place while police decide whether to prosecute again, and therefore that it’s ok to discuss the case publicly.

    It’s difficult to understand the relevance and even meaning of some of your contribution. For example what is meant by “One has to ask you the bitterness “bloody money” she obtained from ACC for the latest fertility treatment. Where has your money come from — to support you and your wife???”?

    A “technical error” in a criminal trial means a faulty process the outcome of which we cannot have confidence in. It means that any guilty finding was invalid, not that it was the correct one overturned through legal trickery. No doubt the feminists would like men accused of sexual crimes to be convicted no matter what poor standards are used in the trial, just as they have managed to dispose of many other protections against wrongful conviction. You suggest that you want justice to be upheld, but it seems instead that you want a conviction regardless of justice.

    In my opinion, a hung jury means that there was reasonable doubt. I question whether the crown should get another stab at prosecuting someone in that case. But our law allows this. To me a hung jury is indicative of a lack of sufficient evidence. And remember that no evidence is required in sexual offence cases beyond an allegation made by a convincing actor.

    But if you really do know both sides, or anything beyond the allegations that you think indicates Mr Hayward’s guilt, I would be interested. Of course, most offenders claim they were innocent and many of them will be lying. But there is still some semblance remaining of the principle that any accused must be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Hayward is entitled to expect to be treated accordingly, but you seem to join the anti-male feminists in wanting to assume his guilt.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 8:03 pm

  13. My final comment is, you seem to be siding with Mr Hayward, which makes me think you are probaly his friend.

    I have no idea who Mr Hayward is apart from the postings in this thread.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 4th November 2009 @ 8:21 pm

  14. Yep, that’s the conclusion I came to.
    Kiwis as a whole are a heartless bunch when it comes to considering men apart from the few exceptions.
    Too bad.
    NZs loss is somewhere else’s gain.

    Hey guys! If you’ve got to stay there then for goodness sake’s protect yourself!
    You can get a very small discreet device that looks like a pen. Buy it online for a few bucks then switch it on whenever you feel at risk of being falsely acused. It records video and stereo sound which then get transfered to a computer via usb.
    By the way, unless anyone wonders, I’ve got NO commercial interest in the product. I just don’t like feeling upset about yet another guy in nz getting shafted.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 12:32 am

  15. Mrs J King.
    I think you’re coming accross like a feminist manhater. You trot along here blaspheming and branding some man unfairly of being a rapist!
    Holy shit! You offer NO PROOF whatsoever of that accusation and clearly have expected those reading to beleive your vile tittle-tattle as you then try to argue when it’s pointed out to you!
    I reckon you’re a shining example of why men in nz must be ever vigillant against many of the women there.

    As the saying goes – PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 12:43 am

  16. As you seem to know so much yourself, you know there are things that cant be said. Facts cant be displayed to everyone,while a trail is coming up. That is why i was so surprised when i seen the comments made by Mr Hayward on here. As i seem to be a manhater so you seem to be the same with women. You have been hurt by your wife and seem to be branding all women the same. NOT ALL WOMEN ARE THE SAME AND THERE ARE MEN THAT DO RAPE AND MAKE OUT THEY ARE STAND UP PEOPLE. Stop Judging what you dont know. Get both sides is all im saying then make your comments.

    Comment by Mrs J King — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 6:42 am

  17. The following link explains my complete response to your silly dribble. Please study it carefully.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 7:54 am

  18. Equally “Mrs” J. King, there are Women that Rape! Try Briar Dravitski for starters, Sex with a 13 year old! Anne Caldwell, a teacher of hamilton who had innapropriate trlationships with two of her charges, A Bay of Plenty Woman engaged in sexual acts on a child for which she was a CYF care giver. I also refer you to, containing a lest of women who cried “Rape”

    Pauls – News has a list of over 200 female offenses, the most common being child neglect or abuse.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 8:08 am

  19. Mrs J King,
    you still haven’t put forth one single FACT to back up your claim that a man is guilty of rape. All we have gotten from you is vile scuttlebutt of the type we’ve been getting from feminists for the past 30 ODD (very odd indeed!) years.
    In my mind a person a person is innocent until proven guilty.
    Now you’re throwing out the classic “Well if you don’t agree with me you must be a manhater” tantrum I’ve seen countless times from certain feminist women who are trying to make unsubstantiated claims against some hapless guy/s.
    Like I said time to put up or shut up.
    You do yourself no credit trolling a men’s issues site with your ridiculous gossip.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 12:45 pm

  20. I counted 221 paedophiles listed on the following link and those are just a sub-set of female rapists, being American teachers who have defiled young men and boys groomed from their classrooms. Gosh, imagine the total number female rapists in America? What on Earth is becoming of the superior gender I wonder?

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Thu 5th November 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  21. Interesting about Philip Haywards comment an then this comes about just goes to show so many thought he was telling the truth but look guilty of rape charges again [JohnP: abuse removed].

    Comment by bob — Sun 24th August 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  22. Well with regard to Philip Heyward, the jury has spoken, sentenced to 13 years jail, job well done.
    Now time to put this to rest so the victims can get on with their lives

    Comment by Dianne — Fri 12th September 2014 @ 1:46 pm

  23. Diane, I just read this post going back to 2009 and ALL the comments to understand your 34 words.

    Oh man, (oh woman), false rape accusations are a very difficult subject to discuss in public, IMO. You have to be very brave and careful at the same time.

    I wish and hope those harmed in this case can heal.

    Comment by Julie — Fri 12th September 2014 @ 3:57 pm

  24. Here’s an interesting experience of mine. (below)

    I was at a shop one day with a father’s advocate who had experience with false rape accusations in Family Court cases (women fear hard when they feel and/or think their ex is going to take their children from them, IMO) while I had experience through girls being upset with my sons (rejection hurts big time when first experiencing it, IMO). I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy – that’s how stressful, dangerous and scary it is.

    Anyways, we met a young woman studying law who planned to be a prosecutor and she told us she chose the career because she was raped as a child and the accused was found ‘not guilty’ ……

    …….(which she will learn does not technically exist. When an accused is not found ‘guilty’, the words used are “not enough evidence to convict”. They are treated from that day on as ‘guilty’ and are limited in life…. but that’s a separate discussion that needs to be had).

    Anyhoo, there were other girls involved in her case and the rapist was found ‘guilty’ of raping enough of them to get a long sentence.

    PROBLEM is, this young woman believes with vengeful passion that every man accused of rape is guilty, no ifs, no buts and that there’s no such things as a false accusation. You can see the anger she holds onto and I fear for every innocent man that crosses her path.

    I don’t think she would even listen to a 100 parents who’ve dealt with daughters, nieces, etc, falsely accusing boys out of pain and hurt egos.

    THE SUBJECT NEEDS TO BE DISCUSSED and men need to be brave. 🙂

    Comment by Julie — Fri 12th September 2014 @ 4:03 pm

  25. Those that prey on children and others on our streets, should fear our condemnation of them.
    They give men a bad name.
    And the mothers that raised them.

    In the first instance we must accept that we made them. Treatment and cure?
    Do it again, should fear our fury on them.

    Julie makes good points. We must accept the things that happen to us. It makes us stronger.

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Fri 12th September 2014 @ 4:44 pm

  26. To “The man in Absentia” – your comment on cannabis was WAY off-topic for this post.
    The email address you supplied is bouncing which is why you have not received a response from your recent contact form submission.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Fri 12th September 2014 @ 5:14 pm

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