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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22809
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Lawyer, yesterday the police came to our house to talk to my

Customer Question

Good morning lawyer,
yesterday the police came to our house to talk to my partner about a damage on a vehicle.
The vehicle is a work vehicle from South Pacific Seeds in Methven. It was full of workers from Tonga and it was parked outside SuperValue on a Tuesday evening between 5pm and 6pm. As my partner used to work for South Pacific Seeds and with those Tongans , he left the company a year ago, he walked over to them and shook their car to say "hello" , just the way he always has done in the past when he was still working with them. So now the vehicle has a quite a big damage and my partner Grant is accused to have done that. My partner said there is no way that he could have done that by just shaking the car. We got the quote from our local Panel and Paint given through the local policeman yesterday and Grant (my partner) has to pay it otherwise he will end up in court. Today I have asked Methven Panel and Paint for the pictures of the damage of the vehicle and the girl in the office told me that she was told that somebody kicked the car. The problem is that we dont have any evidence to prove that he could not have done such a big damage to the car. What do we have to do now? Thank you so much in advance. Julia
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the picture of the damaged car
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

If he says he did not do this damage, he can defend any charge. But if he pushed the car, it does not look good for him. Your defence would have to be that someone else did this damage after he pushed the car, but that might be difficult to prove. The police would likely charge him with wilful damage, so he might want to try to avoid a criminal charge. But of the panel beater says this damage was caused by a kick, then he could ask one of the Tongan workers to confirm whether he kicked the vehicle or not. If they back up his story, he could ask the policeman to discuss this with the Tongans to check his side. The problem will be if he does defend the case, is that he has admitted he has pushed the vehicle, but denies the extent of damage. So there is a reasonable risk the judge will not believe him. As a practical step, even though it may be expensive to fix the damage it will avoid going to court, with a real risk of getting a conviction

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