Imaginative barristers continue to entertain with their arguments on behalf of clients facing off-beat, usually sexual offences.

The latest such quirky defence episode related to an Israeli-born GP practicing in Kapiti, who felt compelled to examine women’s breasts when they (the women that is, not the breasts) came in with an unrelated problem, and who’s defence was argued unsuccessfully by lawyer Donald Stevens.

Judge Robert Dobson, doubtless struggling to keep a straight face, dismissed Stevens’s plea that the root of the problem was a cultural one, this implying that in Israel there was a broader acceptance of such carry-ons. We’re well familiar in New Zealand with the cultural bullshit argument being pulled to explain maori criminal acts but this was certainly a first. Nevertheless, if it occasionally works for maoris, then why not give it a crack for everyone else was presumably Stevens thinking, and indeed, why not?

That said, I would be very surprised indeed if a young Tel Aviv woman visiting her GP because of a sore toe, would happily strip off when the doctor said, “OK, then let’s have a look at your tits”. Then again, I shouldn’t prejudge this as Israeli girls do have a fairly rampant reputation and might joyfully comply with such requests.

My favourite defence going back to the 1990s was by a Lower Hutt lawyer, defending a Trentham race-course employee, who was found up a ladder having it off with a stabled mare. This was his second such offence.

His lawyer advanced the delightful defence that he was lonely.

It’s difficult to imagine a worst argument for the fairly obvious reason of a size-wise disproportionate physical relationship. In other words it’s certain the mare would have been oblivious to anything happening and thus unable to render any affectionate response to satisfy the accused’s loneliness.

The dullard judge threw it out although he failed to deliver that fairly obvious reason, relying instead, unimaginatively, with the act being illegal.

One thing’s certain. The government is currently seeking fresh revenue sources and should slap an entertainment tax on Lower Court judges for the daily vaudeville their job provides them.


Having spent some time in Tel Aviv and the surrounds, I suspect the Israeli GP’s probably had to ask the young ladies to put their clothes back on for a toe examination.

In fact a little follow up to my comment above. I had a really interesting time in Israel and was in Tel Aviv in 1996 and went on to travel down in to Egypt and beyond. I came back up the coast and tried to get in to Syria but got turned back at the border. When I went back to Tel Aviv, I stayed in a place on the corner of Ben Yehuda st and Dizengof square. I went down to the Airport and when I got there I saw the news that a Palestinian had blown himself up on a bus right outside where I had been staying. I have a photo somewhere of the place with all the windows blown in.

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