Man cleared of charges against wife, child

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A well known man has been cleared of sexual and violence charges against his estranged wife and an assault against his child. Photo/File

A man has been cleared of family violence charges after a lengthy retrial in Hamilton.

The jury found the man, who has permanent name suppression to protect the identity of his children, not guilty on seven charges in the Hamilton District Court today.

The Crown claimed the well-known couple presented themselves as "the perfect type of family" that some people thought "lived the perfect lifestyle".

"But reality was different," said Crown prosecutor Geraldine Kelly.

At the end of the nearly three-week trial, the jury found in the defence's favour.

Co-defence counsel Emma Priest told the jury in her opening submissions the case was simple: The allegations were all lies and were the result of a "divorce gone wrong".

"This is a frightening example of a divorce gone wrong ... make no mistake, the defence case is that these allegations have been fabricated, made up by [complainant] to destroy [defendant], to take his children, to take his money ... so that he has nothing.

"It is shocking, it is tragic, it is [defendant's] life at stake."

The man was found not guilty on three charges of assaulting a female, a representative charge of threatening to kill, another of threatening to kill, assaulting a child and sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

The man first went to trial last year facing a total of 14 charges. He was found guilty on four charges, not guilty on four and the jury remained hung on the remaining six.

He will be sentenced next month on the four charges which include breaching a protection order and assaulting a child.

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