Auckland restaurateur Philip Sturm is back in court, appealing his December 2003 conviction of sexually violating four young men after giving them drugs, for which he was sentenced to nine years jail. Sturm's lawyer Paul Davison claimed the trial had been tainted, challenging the conviction on seven different grounds. A large part of the evidence presented involved Sturm allegedly stupefying his victims – all of whom claimed to be heterosexual – before sex, evidence which the judge directed the jury to disregard. Davison argued that the presence of the stupefying evidence for much of the trial had tainted it, and also pointed out inconsistencies in various victims' evidence which appeared to suggest they had never taken drugs before meeting Sturm. However, the Crown also is appealing, saying that the judge should never have told the jury to disregard the stupefaction charges. "The Crown case was that the appellant [Sturm] had very deliberately supplied drugs to four men,” said Crown lawyer Matthew Downs. "Although they agreed to consume drugs, they were effectively unaware at crucial times what the effects would be and what his intentions were. Justices Anderson, Hammond and Young have reserved their decision.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Sunday, 3rd October 2004 - 12:00pm
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