Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer


(09) 378 4101

I believe in people.

I am a barrister with your best interests at heart. Over the past 30 years I have represented clients for serious charges in both High Court and District Court Jury trials. More information can be found via the links on examples below.

Recent cases

  • Murder

    Charged with Murder, Found Guilty of Manslaughter.  For more read here. 

    The jury in the Luke Tipene murder trial has failed to reach a verdict, meaning Vincent Skeen will face a retrial. For more watch 3 News here.

    Client charged with murder of small child found not guilty. For more read Radio NZ Article, Herald Article, Herald Article, Stuff Article, Herald Article, NZ City Article.

    Client charged with murder of security guard found not guilty. For more read Herald Article, 3 News Article, Newstalk ZB Article.

    Client charged with murdering small child. Found guilty of manslaughter at trial.

    Client charged with murder after stabbing another and killing him. Found guilty of manslaughter.

    Client charged with stabbing another and killing him. Found guilty of manslaughter at trial.

    Client charged with stabbing a man in a mid-North Island Forest and killing him. Charge successfully withdrawn.

    Client charged with murdering small child. Charge successfully reduced to manslaughter. For more read here.

    Radio NZ – Kahui twins interview with Lorraine Smith. For more read here.

    Radio Live – Jemma Dempsey talks to Chris Kahui’s lawyer Lorraine Smith. For more read here.

    TV3 Video – Chris Kahui Trial commences. For more read here.

    TV1 Video – Chris Kahui found not guilty. For more read here.

    TV3 Campbell Live Video – Dramatic scenes as Kahui found not guilty. For more read here.

    Manslaughter Verdict – not murder – 21 year old caregiver – Radio NZ Interview with Lorraine Smith.  For more read here.

    Homicide – Accessory to murder. Sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. A re-trial occurred. Sentence and conviction appealed. For more read here.

    Homicide reduced to Manslaughter – Young man – Pleaded guilty and received a reduced sentence. For more read here.

    Interview – Turn Scars into Stars – Michele Hewittson’s interview with Lorraine Smith. For more read here.

    Homicide – Verdict – acquittal.  For more read here. 

  • Aggravated Robbery, Drugs, Fraud and Arson

    Trevor MIRANDA found not guilty of importing 1.5kg of Methamphetamine into New Zealand. For more read here.

    Numerous clients have been found not guilty of aggravated robbery at trial.

    Successful application to dismiss charge for possession of firearms at trial.

    Charges all withdrawn for fraud by use of a document.

    Client found not guilty for theft at trial.

    Numerous clients found not guilty of charges laid under the Misuse of Drugs Act found not guilty in District Court and High Court trials. This includes Class A; B; and C drugs.

    Numerous clients found not guilty of arson at their trials.

    Fraud – A group of Canadian men were arrested for using skimming device to obtain bank customers electronic data. For more read here.

    Money Laundering/Drugs – A young mother pleaded guilty and received a reduced sentence. For more read here.

    Drug Ring – Operation Acacia – Supplying Class A drug/ in possession of firearms. Stood trial. Appealed conviction and re-trial ordered. For more read here.

  • Violence and Abuse

    Wounding with Intent to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm – 14 years imprisonment. Client charged with causing a bleed to the brain of another person by punching him repeatedly.  Jury took only half an hour to find him not guilty of the charge.

    Numerous assault and family violence cases successfully defended or obtaining a discharge without conviction after pleading guilty.

    Two clients found not guilty of serious child abuse at trial.

    Client charged with horrific allegations of child abuse and torture. Most serious charge withdrawn. Numerous other charges withdrawn. Guilty pleas on remaining charges. Client satisfied with this fair outcome.

    Client found not guilty of grievous bodily harm at trial.

    Numerous clients found not guilty with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at their trial.

    Child Abuse – Girl subjected to torture – Radio N.Z. News item. For more read here.

    Child Abuse – Mother is not a monster – TV One News Item – Video. For more read here.

    Child Abuse – Article Mother jailed – Lorraine Smith response. For more read here.

  • Sexual Violation

    R charged with 16 charges of rape; 7 charges of unlawful sexual connection; 9 charges of indecent assault; 1 charge of threatening to kill.
    Jury found R not guilty on all charges except threatening to kill.
    Discharged without conviction on charge of threatening to kill.

    Four clients found not guilty at trial.

    Several clients had charges of sexual violation withdrawn after their daughters admitted they lied about their Fathers during my cross-examination.

    R v P 2016

    Mr P faced 5 charges alleging sexual abuse. They were:

    • sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection
    (20 years imprisonment)
    • doing an indecent act with intent to offend
    (2 years imprisonment)
    • indecent assault on a child
    (10 years imprisonment)

    There were 2 complainants

    The first complainant was aged between 10 and 11 years while the second complainant was aged 17 years.

    The charges against the second complainant were withdrawn from the jury as was one of the charges against the first complainant.

    After a short deliberation in the jury room the jury found Mr P not guilty of the remaining 2 counts.

  • Fraud

    Two Auckland brothers behind an elaborate Rugby World Cup ticket scam worth more than $700,000 have escaped jail time. Demissie Tefera Asgedom, 29, and Nebiyou Tefera Demissie, 41, were arrested on the day of the opening ceremony at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 for a scalping operation.

    The Ethiopian brothers were sentenced to one year of home detention each at the Auckland District Court today after being found guilty on 30 charges relating to a scalping operation in the lead-up to the 2011 final.

    Judge David Harvey said there was no doubt the brothers were “middle men” drawn into a larger international operation.  ”It is clear the you were cogs in a greater piece of machinery that involved unlawfully obtained credit cards in an operation that was clearly devised overseas….[you] were the fall guys but rather necessary fall guys.  You clearly didn’t devise the scheme but the scheme certainly wouldn’t have been able to work had it not been for you,” he said.

    He said because of the lack of tickets sold there was no monetary loss for unsuspecting buyers, no financial gain for the brothers and no breach of trust, which made sentencing difficult.  A man in South Africa paid for the tickets while the brothers on-sold them in New Zealand, the court heard.

    Demissie and Asgedom had given the names of members in their soccer teams to the overseas operation so the tickets could be ordered.  Judge Harvey said the brothers had “burst onto the [offending] stage rather dramatically” with the scalping, which was of public interest in light of the Rugby World Cup.  The men were also sentenced to 200 hours of community work.

    For more read here.