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HLR records fire accused pleads not guilty

Mon 1 Dec 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A Wellington HLR march urging the government to decriminalise gay sex. The man alleged to have set the fire which destroyed some of the New Zealand gay community's most precious historical records has appeared in court today, charged with arson. In April this year the fire destroyed a large number of self-storage units at Kilbirnie, Wellington. One of the destroyed units contained irreplaceable records of the landmark campaign for Homosexual Law Reform which in the late 1980s ended the era of gay men in this country being treated as criminals and imprisoned. The records were held by the MP who led the frequently viciously opposed campaign, Fran Wilde, who was intending to use them as the basis for written memoirs. The 34-year old accused, who has name suppression, pleaded not guilty and elected to be be tried by a judge rather than a jury. The prosecution claims he was seen on CCTV entering the premises wearing multiple layers of clothing which altered his physical appearance and carrying a red petrol container. The trial, at the High Court in Wellington, is expected to last two weeks.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 1st December 2014 - 8:24pm

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