Back to Ryan's letter.

SJ Ryan


Tauranga Office                                                                                                

This report was commissioned by my lawyer Mr Stewart Ryan of Cooney Lees and Morgan, Tauranga.


The whole report is not here as it is substantial, however some of the paragraphs referred to in Mr Ryan's letter are.

3.10   The question of the authority upon which the police acted to apprehend Mr Baker and then detain him in custody at Tauranga Police Station prior to completion of the Mental Health Committal procedures is unresolved. In the absence of specific advice from the Police as to the basis upon which they acted I can make no positive comment. It might be that Mr Bake was in fact arrested upon a charge of having committed a common assault or something similar upon his sister, that he was apprehended and detained upon that basis pending a Court appearance, but, the Mental Health committal proceedings having been implemented and completed before the Court appearance could be arranged, no formal charge was proceeded with by way of prosecution. If that was the case no doubt there will be records to verify it, such as notebook entry by the arresting officer, some sort of arrest file, a charge sheet entry in the Watch-House records and perhaps other documents.

3.11   In the absence of such documentation and in the absence of explanation of by the Officer/s involved in the apprehension and detention at the Police Station, it would appear prima facie that at least technically he would have been held unlawfully in Police custody until such time as the Reception Order was made by the Justices of the Peace.

3.15   What must be specifically spelled out for the benefit of Mr Baker is this:

- Whether the Police chose to charge him with a criminal offense concerning the alleged assault by him upon his sister in no way detracts from action taken by his sister (assisted by the Police) for him to be committed to Tokonui Hospital under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1969. In my opinion the committal action was entirely appropriate in all circumstances.


4.2 The Police really had very little choice but to do something definite with Mr Baker, either by way of arresting him and formally charging him with some sort of appropriate criminal offense, or arranging for him to receive medical treatment appropriate to his mental condition at the time. In my opinion the Police took the most humane approach in the circumstances. It would have been inappropriate for Mr Baker to have been detained in the Police cells and ultimately prosecuted at Court for his conduct on this occasion when clearly, from the documents I have seen, he needed professional medical help at that time.

4.3  This type of situation has often created dilemmas for the Police. If they do not formally arrest and charge a person then, in the absence of some specific statutory authority to detain a person, the Police might technically be acting in breach of their authority to detain despite the fact that they had the best interests of the person as their primary concern. This seems on the face of it to have been one of those occasions, almost.



Later, in 1997 an application was made by my Aunt and Uncle to have a property manager appointed. The first property manager was my cousin Bruce Walter, and he arranged to budget my income which was a sickness benefit, so that my rate arrears was paid. Then after three years he and his wife decided to move to Canberra, and New Zealand Guardian Trust applied to be property manager. The lawyer was the same, John Patterson of Holland Beckett and Maltby (Hobec). I asked the court for a different lawyer but my request was declined.

A medical report was obtained from Gil Newburn.

 As I have said elsewhere, when my sister agreed to drop the charges against me, which I asked her to do for the benefit "of the family" and family unity, in other words to keep this matter as something for the family to sort out, and not involve a lot of police, effectively wasting their time.

It was my intention to tell the judge, if it went to court, exactly what happened. I felt justified, that I was in my own home lawfully. I was in my own living room. I was reasonably calm and collected even though I had been drinking. I gave my sister fair warning that I wanted her to go to any other room and leave me to watch television in peace. She was standing right in front of the television screen, beside the door to the lounge. I asked her three times to (please move), and she refused.

I will still say that because of that, no assault occurred. There was physical contact, but who pushed who and how hard was for the judge to decide, and when my sister agreed to drop the charges, even though I was in the Tauranga Police Station, I thought I would be on my way home and that we would talk about it there.

It may be prudent to add, that I am a boy who went to boarding school where there was reasonably robust physical contact. A punch in the arm from a bigger boy was not uncommon, and one learned to stay away from certain ones. However I was bullied rather than a bully, and went out of my way, because I am large, to protect those I found being bullied. I also had a friend at primary school, Gavin Chapman, and we used to put each other in a head lock. I never exerted more than 9/10ths pressure, and I trust he did the same, but  that can be quite painful, as can some of the contact in rugby.

There was a time when I was growing up that I complained to mum that my big sister was hitting me. My mother advised me to hit her back. As a rule there was no hitting girls, in our family, but it applied both ways. I was about 10 when my sister went to boarding school, and certainly the rule of no hitting, and no verbal abuse was in force then. I do not condone violence in any sense.

 4.0  Well what does that mean? My mental state at the time was cool calm and collected. There is a full account here (soon).

The morning of the 15th June I left my house at Maketu  with the intention of doing several things.

One of these was to purchase an Olympic brand Swiss watch with a black face to replace the one my mother had given me for a birthday present the year I was at Auckland University in 1985, and which I had lost. I intended to put it on my credit card. I still had some funds with Guardian Trust in Tauranga from after I had purchased my sister's share of the family home, and there was no problem there.

It was my intention to take water samples from the Kawarau River, below the discharge point of the Tasman Mill, and to that end I had some sample bottles obtained from the Mangare Water Treatment Station, where I had already had samples from the Kaituna River tested.

I also had a spade in case the car got stuck.

It was my intention so speak to as many workers as I could about joining my union Pelecan, the union of computer operators.

It was not my intention to trespass and I believed I was on a legal public road and crossed a public bridge to get to where I wanted to sample water. I was not challenged by security at the gate, and drove in and turned to the right, and followed some white arrows all the way to the river where I crossed the bridge. I spoke to workers in several locations on the way out. I parked in a public car park where workers parked their vehicles, and I was not in a dangerous area.

I was challenged by security in a truck as I was leaving and asked to follow him to the gate house which I did, and where security demanded my car keys which I refused to hand over. I was lead out the back into a fenced courtyard where I believed I was about to be assaulted, and I was not at any time that I can recall told that I was trespassing and asked to leave.

Eventually the police arrived, and I handed over my car keys. I do not recall being formally arrested, and I was driven into town in a police car. On the way I was asked whether I would prefer to go to the Police Station or to the hospital. Frankly I thought it was a joke, because why would a person being arrsted be given a choice, but I replied that given the choice I'd rather go to the hospital because I was experiencing some abdominal pain? However I was admitted to the psychiatric unit, which in hindsight I probably could have expected, but at that time I thought that I had been give a clean bill of mental health, at least that is the impression Dr Barnett my GP had given me.


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