Infamous Queenstown bouncer Jonathan Dixon stole CCTV footage showing England rugby player Mike Tindall cavorting with a woman in an attempt to make money, a court has heard.
Dixon’s jury trial over a charge of dishonestly accessing a computer began this morning at the Invercargill District Court.
Dixon has been on bail since 2011 after allegedly dishonestly obtaining the CCTV footage of the incident, which happened at Altitude bar in Queenstown on September 13, 2011, during the Rugby World Cup.
Former England captain Tindall, now a player-coach at Gloucester, is married to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips.
The footage obtained by Dixon shows Tindall getting close to a woman – later to be identified as an old flame – in the bar, despite marrying Phillips only weeks earlier. Dixon released the footage mixed with his own bizarre rant on YouTube, claiming that “no one is going to make a cent from this video”.
In her opening today, Crown solicitor Mary-Jane Thomas says Dixon had no right to take the footage for the purpose of making money from it.
“The Crown says this was an opportunity made in heaven if you wanted to sell something and make some money and this is what the Crown says was the accused’s intention from the very beginning.”
She said Dixon asked a junior staff member at the bar to download the footage for him, and while he waited he searched the internet for how to make money from selling a story to newspapers, and contacted British tabloid The Sun.
For various reasons, however, he was unable to sell the footage, and three days later put it on YouTube accompanied with a lecture to Tindall.
Because he had failed to sell it, he sought instead notoriety, which, clearly, from the dialogue that accompanied the YouTube posting, he “quite liked”, Thomas says.
The Crown’s case is that the footage was not his to take and that he knew he had no right to take it, she says.
In a brief opening, Dixon’s Dunedin-based lawyer John Westgate told the court Dixon’s defence would be that he honestly believed, as a person who worked at the bar, he had a right to access the footage.
The trial is expected to take four days.
– Otago Daily Times