Prominent businessman to remain in prison after failing with second bid for bail at Court of Appeal

A prominent and wealthy businessman has failed in his second bid for bail at the Court of Appeal as he awaits a challenge of his indecent assault and corruption convictions.

The former rich-lister, who continues to enjoy interim name suppression, asked the Court of Appeal earlier this week to grant him bail pending an appeal of his five guilty verdicts and prison term.

However, in their decision released at 11.30am today, Court of Appeal president Justice Stephen Kos and Justices Forrie Miller and Mark Cooper declined bail – holding the same stance as an earlier High Court ruling.

The reasons given by the court, however, cannot be published by the Herald because of statutory suppression orders under the Bail Act 2000.

Last month the businessman was sentenced to a two year and four month prison term by Justice Geoffrey Venning for indecently assaulting three men and twice attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The businessman has always strenuously denied the allegations against him from the moment he was first accused of assaulting a young man at his Auckland home in 2016.

He was later charged with assaulting two others in the early 2000s and 2008 but claimed he was part of an “amazing blackmailing circuit”.

The businessman was also convicted – alongside his manager and entertainer Mika X – of twice trying to pervert the course of justice by offering a bribe for the 2016 victim, the first to go to police, to drop their claims.

The second attempt in May 2017 included hiring PR consultant Jevan Goulter to help make the case disappear and later become known as the “Gold Coast plot”.

The former rich-lister’s first trial was aborted in 2018 due to the emergence of a recording of three of the case’s conspirators – Goulter, his associate Allison Edmonds and the businessman’s manager – talking about the case at a bar.

Goulter and Edmonds were both granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for their evidence for the Crown, which was reviewed and remained after the recording came to light.

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