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Matt Anderson

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Not a good look for such a promising driver who appears to have lost his way

 

 

A harness racing star admits his actions were “despicable” when he choked and beat a woman who feared she was going to be killed.

Matt Anderson, a former New Zealand representative and national premiership-winning harness racing driver, was sentenced to three months’ community detention and 12 months’ intensive supervision by the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old was found guilty of assault and intentionally impeding breathing by strangulation after a judge-alone trial in July.

Strangulation, which became a specific offence in December 2018, carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ jail.

 

The assault happened at his home on February 2. He grabbed the victim around the neck and choked her, then threw her out of his house and locked the door to stop her from getting her car keys that were still inside.

 

The victim crawled through an open window to try to get her keys, but was confronted by Anderson. He assaulted her again and kicked her face while she was on the ground.

The victim called 111 and told the emergency operator she thought Anderson was going to kill her. She was told to run towards the road.

Matt Anderson is a former New Zealand representative and national premiership-winning harness racing driver.
JAMIE SEARLE/STUFF
Matt Anderson is a former New Zealand representative and national premiership-winning harness racing driver.

The woman told the court she saw Anderson run back to the house to get his car and she feared he would run her over. She jumped into a ditch and hid until she saw a police car arrive.

During the trial, Anderson denied he had assaulted or choked the woman. He claimed the woman had grabbed his arm and fell when he moved away.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll rejected Anderson’s version of events, saying the bruises on the victim’s body were inconsistent with her falling onto the carpet, and what she told the court matched what she told the 111 operator.

The victim earlier told Stuff she wanted Anderson to acknowledge what he did. He had blamed her and refused to take responsibility for what he did throughout the court process.

“The only way this is not going to happen to someone else is if he realises what he did,” she said.

On Tuesday, defence counsel Allister Davis said Anderson had genuine remorse for his actions.

He’d had time to reflect on the incident, and acknowledged his actions were “despicable and not warranted in any way or respect”.n September 2018 police raided harness racing stables across the country amid allegations of race fixing and corruption as part of Operation Inca. Stuff understands much of the evidence in relation to the earlier drug charges against Matt Anderson was gathered during Operation Inca. (Video first published in September 2018)

The assault was out of character for Anderson and “a significant fall from grace” for him, Davis said.

Police argued Anderson lacked genuine remorse. Instead of acknowledging what he did, he went to trial and accused the victim of embellishing her statements to ruin his career, police said.

The judge said those who gave Anderson’s references were not present when the assault happened and did not see the victim’s bruises.

“What you did was wrong, Mr Anderson, and must not be repeated,” the judge told him.

The judge ordered Anderson to pay emotional harm reparation of $5000 to the victim.

Banned from racing

Just under a year ago, Anderson was discharged without conviction after admitting possessing MDMA for supply, and two charges of supplying MDMA.

Stuff understands much of the evidence against Anderson was gathered from covert surveillance as part of Operation Inca – a 17-month investigation that culminated in raids on 17 horse stables and properties in Canterbury, Manawatū and Invercargill in September 2018.

Although no criminal charges were added to his record, Anderson was charged by the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) as the acts were deemed detrimental to the interests of harness racing.

The RIU also charged him with refusing to supply information to its investigators, which was deemed more serious than the first charge.

He appeared before a Judicial Control Authority and was banned from harness racing for six months. The disqualification came into effect on August 1.

Davis said Anderson’s assault conviction meant he would not be allowed to enter a racecourse for two years unless he was granted permission by the RIU's exemptions committee.

He said the consequences of Anderson’s offending were significant.

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18 minutes ago, hsvman said:

Pretty light sentence for something that bad really ? 

Agreed, his lawyer in both cases did a fine job. I'm picking if he is before a judge again any time soon then a different sentence will be imposed

Does not do much for the public image of Harness- another nail in the coffin as they say

 

Greg

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My thoughts 

Inca has taken many good people to very dark places ... financial pressure, reputational damage ....the relentless lies told to the Organised Crime Group to keep the inquiry going as they tried to find “something”

I’d never excuse domestic abuse but sometimes, just sometimes, there are mitigating circumstances that should be considered before judgement is passed 

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Agree Eastwood, nah P4Pound, there's never mitigatin circumstances for what that clown did, ever! everybody has issues in their lives to deal with, but nobody in their right mind does anything like that; there are places and people out there to help one with any pressures, an stresses in life that may occur; but what he did to my mind deserves a jail sentence an I'm amazed he didn't get just that.....

 

Cheers Iraklis

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16 minutes ago, Iraklis said:

Agree Eastwood, nah P4Pound, there's never mitigatin circumstances for what that clown did, ever! everybody has issues in their lives to deal with, but nobody in their right mind does anything like that; there are places and people out there to help one with any pressures, an stresses in life that may occur; but what he did to my mind deserves a jail sentence an I'm amazed he didn't get just that.....

 

Cheers Iraklis

Agree Iraklis. 

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16 minutes ago, Iraklis said:

Agree Eastwood, nah P4Pound, there's never mitigatin circumstances for what that clown did, ever! everybody has issues in their lives to deal with, but nobody in their right mind does anything like that; there are places and people out there to help one with any pressures, an stresses in life that may occur; but what he did to my mind deserves a jail sentence an I'm amazed he didn't get just that.....

 

Cheers Iraklis

Probably because there were mitigating circumstances that haven’t been reported, but have been factored into his sentence 

Why wasn’t it considered serious enough to arrest him on the night of the assault ?

Who persuaded the victim to reconsider and go to the Police later ?

Was the RIU involved at all, and if so in what capacity ? 

In my experience there’s always three sides to every story ... I expect the same will apply here 

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3 minutes ago, poundforpound said:

Probably because there were mitigating circumstances that haven’t been reported, but have been factored into his sentence 

Why wasn’t it considered serious enough to arrest him on the night of the assault ?

Who persuaded the victim to reconsider and go to the Police later ?

Was the RIU involved at all, and if so in what capacity ? 

In my experience there’s always three sides to every story ... I expect the same will apply here 

Dont normally agree with you Leo all the time but this is an exception.

What has this to do with Harness racing? Does everyone who has some connection with the sport have their misdemeanors vilified on this site and others or is it just a few old gossips having nothing else to do but take to opportunity to run down individuals without having the personal knowledge of the full circumstances.

 

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The point is guys there was a victim! and it aint him! and regardless of what or who was involved with whatever, whenever, there is never a reason for smashin over someone just because he could or the opportunity presented itself! regardless of the circumstances there are no excuses for what he did; he made a choice (lifes full of makin choices, he chose wrongly) committed a violent act against someone who couldn't stand up for themselves, and there it is.....

Kilcoyne, he did what he did no one made him, he chose....now he gets to deal with the fallout! and last time I looked mate this was a free country; and once in the public domain my friend everyone in the country is entitled to an opinion on it, read the herald online they invite comment all the time....

 

Cheers Iraklis

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58 minutes ago, Iraklis said:

 

Kilcoyne, he did what he did no one made him, he chose....now he gets to deal with the fallout! and last time I looked mate this was a free country; and once in the public domain my friend everyone in the country is entitled to an opinion on it, read the herald online they invite comment all the time....

 

Cheers Iraklis

So comment on the herald on line and leave the harness page to matters concerning harness racing. FYI < i dont read the Herald being from the Mainland but if you had read any of the national press in the last few months particularly September 2020 you would have come across the Appeal in the Court of Appeal where a similar situation re strangulation had occurred and the guilty party had his prison term quashed and his sentence made similar to Mr Anderson's even though the effects of the assault was considered to be even worse.

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Kilcoyne, if I want to comment in here on a post already made public, I will do so! FYI the Herald online is a national paper, and as a matter of fact pal, we are commenting on Matt Anderson and what he did, not on any other case reported re the Court Of Appeal! Anderson still did what he did and that is that......

 

Cheers Iraklis

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19 hours ago, kilcoyne said:

Dont normally agree with you Leo all the time but this is an exception.

What has this to do with Harness racing? Does everyone who has some connection with the sport have their misdemeanors vilified on this site and others or is it just a few old gossips having nothing else to do but take to opportunity to run down individuals without having the personal knowledge of the full circumstances.

 

I'm not sure when violating the criminal law of the land by assaulting a woman became a "misdemenor" but I'd love to have you as my judge one day.

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21 hours ago, Iraklis said:

Agree Eastwood, nah P4Pound, there's never mitigatin circumstances for what that clown did, ever! everybody has issues in their lives to deal with, but nobody in their right mind does anything like that; there are places and people out there to help one with any pressures, an stresses in life that may occur; but what he did to my mind deserves a jail sentence an I'm amazed he didn't get just that.....

 

Cheers Iraklis

Absolutely agree, this sort of stuff leads to the next level and we all know what that is. He's a grown man, and I can't believe he didn't end up inside.

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5 hours ago, Everton said:

Absolutely agree, this sort of stuff leads to the next level and we all know what that is. He's a grown man, and I can't believe he didn't end up inside.

Oh please.

Without making this political.... The current government, including the corrections minister, have stated they want prison numbers to decrease. Whether you agree or disagree with the sentence, get used to it, these sort of non custodial sentence's will continue.

BTW the law works on "Precedent", judges follow precedent.

Again, agree or disagree that is a FACT.

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2 hours ago, Navitas said:

Oh please.

Without making this political.... The current government, including the corrections minister, have stated they want prison numbers to decrease. Whether you agree or disagree with the sentence, get used to it, these sort of non custodial sentence's will continue.

BTW the law works on "Precedent", judges follow precedent.

Again, agree or disagree that is a FACT.

I don't give a toss about prison numbers that has no bearing on the offence. What next ? .. manslaughter but sorry no room in the prisons. And I don't agree it is a Fact, people have and still get custodial sentences for far less .. 

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