(JOHN SELKIRK/Dominion Post)
Well since everyone else seems to be espousing their views on the Tony Veitch Assault case, I thought I may as well throw my hat into the ring.
There seem to be two camps on this one. The first is the That is Not On camp, who want full consequences to be felt by Tony for his actions. The second is the Give a Bloke a Chance, He Said Sorry, Didn't He? camp who think that, fair call, he copped to it and he seems very sorry and he's a good bloke really who just had a moment of lapse.
A moment of lapse? He broke her spine in four places and fractured her skull! She was in a wheelchair! She had a breakdown! It wasn't like he lashed out and slapped her once, which in and of itself is totally unjustifiable and despicable. No, what he did was beat the living daylights out of her. Think about it. To have gotten to the point that he could be kicking her repeatedly so her spine fractured, she would have had to be laid out on the ground already. This wasn't a moment of anger, this was a prolonged and vicious beating. The kind of beating that get people rather substantial jail terms. I don't care how many hours you work in a day, or how tired you get, if you're sprightly enough to be able to sustain that kind of violent attack on someone, you're with it enough to walk away.
I will admit that it is good that he has gotten help for it and that he has (finally) publicly admitted to it and accepted that it was inexcusable. But the fact remains that he did it, and that he paid her to keep quiet. Under what kind of circumstances Ms Dunne-Powell accepted these terms, we won't know unless she tells us, but it would be fair to speculate that she was heavily leaned upon.
However, the fact remains that he is a public figure. His conduct, on and off screen, is fair play for consideration in terms of his job position. And no amount of mea culpa will be enough to have him back on our screens, in front of the nation. No matter how many times he says "Sorry, I know it was wrong" people will still associate his face with the violent act he committed. A stand needs to be taken, especially in a country which struggles with domestic violence as an ongoing issue.
So, sorry Tony. My vote is very much with the That is Not On camp. Ms Dunne-Powell has had to rebuild her life, and now so will you. Actions have consequences, even if you're a celebrity.