Auckland barrister and solicitor David Beard has never heard of any other lawyer being sent excrement in the mail.
But he has – twice.
And now the Legal Street lawyer, who practices in civil litigation, dispute resolution and regulatory compliance, is seriously considering expanding his business in Australia, rather than investing time and money in New Zealand.
“I received a parcel on Friday containing what appeared to be a used tampax, crumbles of what appeared to be dried-out faeces and what appeared to be a used condom covered in excrement,” he told Australasian Lawyer
In February last year, he received a smashed glass jar contained faeces, and real estate agent Grant Tucker was recently discharged without conviction after admitting being behind last year’s incident.
But Beard did not want to explicitly comment on who he thought was behind Friday’s package.
“The last one went to court on the 30th of June, and it is two weeks after that that this happened,” he said.
“I’m thinking I might have to get some HAZMAT face mask or goggles in my office and go all CSI on it.
“Whoever it is is just a loser anyway, and it’s some dirty little monkey throwing their poo out of the cot – that’s all it is, and that’s how I feel about it.”
When asked if it had made him consider stopping practicing law, he replied: “Funny you should say that, I used to practice in Australia for many years, and I am thinking long and hard about moving back and renewing my practicing certificate and shifting focus away from New Zealand.”
He feels he has gone through a process with regards to the 2014 incident and “had no result”.
Does he think lawyers should have to deal with this sort of behaviour?
“No, and more particularly, from an employer’s perspective, what if one of my staff had cut themselves on that glass of the first package?”
“Who is liable then? ACC? Me? I don’t think lawyers should have to put up with this at all. I don’t think any business should put it with it at all.”