Queenstown bouncer’s assault trial pressure

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The Queenstown bouncer at the centre of last year’s Rugby World Cup CCTV bar footage scandal faces trial on Monday, despite sacking his lawyer days prior. 

Jonathan Dixon, 42, appeared in the Invercargill District Court yesterday (Thursday), for a pre-trial callover of one of two charges he faces. 

The charge, dishonestly accessing a computer system, relates to CCTV footage from inside Queenstown bar Altitude, which Dixon uploaded to YouTube. It showed English rugby star Mike Tindall – who had just married the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips – partying with an ex-girlfriend days after his English team won its first World Cup game against Argentina. 

But before the matter could be heard, Dixon’s lawyer Kate McHugh sought leave from the court to withdraw as Dixon’s legal counsel. 

The application came just four days before he was due to go to trial on a second serious assault charge, wounding with reckless disregard causing grievous bodily harm. 

That charge was laid after an alleged bar assault in January, in Queenstown, which left the victim Jordan Sinke, 26, in an induced coma. 

Sinke is now out of hospital and has been making a recovery, including returning to snowboarding, revealed in Mountain Scene earlier this year. 

Dixon’s newly appointed counsel Simon Claver immediately sought to have the assault matter remanded to a later date, given he had only received the case an hour earlier. 

Claver said if he had to appear on Dixon’s behalf next week, it would be “under protest”. 

Judge Kevin Phillips rejected the application. 

“This matter is going to trial on Monday at 9.15am. It was his decision to get rid of his counsel,” Phillips said.
Mr Claver asked that his objection be noted. 

Dixon was remanded on bail to reappear in the Invercargill District Court on Monday for trial on the assault matter and to September 20 for another pre-trial callover relating to dishonestly using a computer system.