An infamous Queenstown bouncer on trial for accessing a bar’s security footage claims he did not intend to sell it.
Tindallgate bouncer Jonathan Dixon has told Invercargill District Court this morning (Wednesday) he had no intention to sell footage from inside Altitude bar that showed English rugby star Mike Tindall cavorting with an ex-girlfriend, weeks after he married royal Zara Phillips.
Dixon says he was initially asked by another security guard to seek out the footage of the rugby star – in Queenstown for the 2011 Rugby World Cup – after a “situation” at the door of the bar.
Dixon uploaded the footage to YouTube in a clip which included warnings from him to Tindall that he should “be loyal to the royal”. It created an international media frenzy.
Dixon faces a jury trial after pleading not guilty to accessing a computer and obtaining, without right, property.
The 42-year-old does not deny accessing the computer, but says he honestly believed he had the right to do so.
Dixon told his lawyer John Westgate that during seven years working security at the bar his understanding was always that anyone working there could access and do what they wanted with CCTV footage.
Dixon says after he asked a receptionist to download the footage, people around town started telling him they had heard Tindall was up to no good in the bar that night, and if anyone had footage it could be worth money.
Dixon then researched what such footage would be worth, but was not going to sell it, he says.
Downloading the footage and seeking a price for it was a project for the benefit of the Base/Altitude Bar and he never intended to sell the footage directly himself, Dixon told the jury.
It became apparent Base wanted instead to itself drip-feed it to the media over a longer period, and he was not happy with the prolonged pain that would cause Tindall’s wife, Dixon says, adding that’s why in the end he posted on the internet.
Dixon denied the suggestions from Crown solicitor Mary-Jane Thomas that actually he did it because he was angry after he found out that the media agency he was dealing with would not buy the footage without Base’s authorisation, and Base had refused that.
Thomas added that he realised he was not going to make any money from it after all so he would stop anyone else from doing so. - Otago Daily Times