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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 17. July 23, 1968

Demonstrator Fined Fifty Dollars

Demonstrator Fined Fifty Dollars

A first-year commerce student, Alan Wiltshire, has been convicted and fined $50 as a result of an incident during the demonstration at Parliament on June 26.

He was accused of assaulting a policeman trying to stop demonstrators getting up the main steps of the building.

At the hearing of the case in the Magistrates Court last Friday Alan emphatically denied having hit a uniformed policeman, though he said he struck lightly" a man in civilian dress who threw his hat away.

Giving evidence against Alan, police constable Noel Devon Winn, the alleged victim of the assault, said Wiltshire had been standing with his back to him and had suddenly turned round and struck him three times in the stomach with his right fist.

In answer to defence counsel Mr J. D. Dalgety (retained by the Students' Association). Winn said his experience of demonstrations was limited to one disturbance involving "motorcycle louts".

Winn said Alan had first denied the offence but later said he was "mad" because someone had thrown his cap into the crowd.

He agreed with Mr Dalgety he had "quite a pleasant conversation' with the defendant on two occasions.

A plainclothes police constable. Raymond Leslie Woodham, said he saw Winn struck "several times about the chest and body" by Wiltshire.

He had gone to Winn's assistance and "grabbed" Wiltshire.

To Mr Dalgety he said he had no way of knowing how the incident had been initiated.

Again in reply to counsel, Woodham said he was not wearing a tweed coat on the day of the demonstration.

(A witness later described the man who took Alan's hat as wearing a tweed coat.).

Alan said in evidence he had moved to the front of the crowd because, together with a Maori he believed to be a unionist, he was helping an elderly woman through the crowd.

He had been trying to restrain the demonstrators.

Alan Wiltshire

Alan Wiltshire

When a man seized his hat and threw it into the crowd he had "aimed a blow at him and struck him lightly in the face".

He had then been seized by three policemen.

At no time had he hit a uniformed policeman.

Alan said that when charged with assault he had thought the man who threw away his hat must have been a plainclothes policeman.

When he knew it was PC Winn he was accused of assaulting, he had said to him, "I didn't hit you, at least not deliberately".

Winn had replied that he had hit him "once" but didn't think he meant to.

Alan said that when taken to the police van at Parliament he thought he had heard the words, "You don't hit a cop and get away with it".

Roy Middleton, a second-year arts student, said he saw Wiltshire, who he had not previously known, "helping" with the crowd.

He described a man he had seen throw Alan's hat into the crowd.

He had tried to restrain Alan and had thought he had succeeded.

He did not see him land a punch on the man who had thrown his hat but could not say for sure that he had not done so.

Peter Horsley, a third-year law student, said he had seen Alan "take a swing" at a man who threw his hat.

Two policemen had then moved in on him.

Mr B. Scully SM, convicting Wiltshire, said he had no doubt PC Winn was telling "the complete truth".

In fining Alan $50 (costs $5) he would take into account the fact that he was "a student on an ordinary bursary".