Allegations of Abuse in NZ

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Peter Stewart - Prominent Canterbury businessman


This page last updated December 2 2008

         Peter Stewart



Historical allegations against prominent Canterbury businessman Peter Stewart were made. He was found guilty at trial.

The allegations date back almost 40 years.. They allege that Stewart was guilty of child sexual abuse and rape of a girl from the age of 8 through to 16. Evidence at trial show that as a teenager, she was infatuated with Peter, and also told some of her friends that she was having a sexual relationship with him.

Peter Stewart’s defence was that the complainant was a fantasist, a liar and a blackmailer. He admitted having sex with the woman when she was aged 17

Stewart is currently in prison, and has filed an appeal


Link to News Reports of the Case

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Only Peter Stewart and the complainant can definitely know the truth of the allegations. On that basis the site neither endorses the allegations or claims that the case is one involving false allegations.


The site does however have extremely serious concerns about the outcome of the trial. This site believes that the allegations fell short by a wide margin of being proven “beyond reasonable doubt” and that consequently there is a high and unsatisfactory possibility that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.


·                Laws in New Zealand permit men accused of sexual offences to be convicted without any corroborating evidence. While such a law may be welcomed by sex abuse victims who argue that there is often no corroborating evidence in such crimes, the law takes no account of the fact that many allegations may be false. In this circumstance, the accused innocent person is forced to prove his innocence.

·                The allegations were historical in nature and categorically denied by Stewart. Historical charges are particularly difficult to defend. Unlike some other countries, New Zealand has no limitation of time for charges to be made which helps to prevent the greater likelihood of miscarriages of justice in such cases