22 Jan 2019

Woman ordered to pay 'likely' abuser $28k despite attacks

From Morning Report, 7:19 am on 22 January 2019

A woman who has been ordered to pay $28,000 to the man abused her says she is "extremely disappointed, even shocked", by the judge's decision. Mariya Taylor served in the New Zealand Defence Force with Robert Roper in the 1980s and sought damages against him and the Air Force for his actions. In September the High Court dismissed her claim, ruling it was too late. In 2014, Roper was tried and convicted on 20 counts of sexual offending against members of his family and three other women between 1976 and 1988. This included the rape of his daughter. In yesterday's ruling the judge acknowledged that "there can be no dispute that Mr Roper's conduct towards Ms Taylor was heinous" but ordered costs be paid, saying "costs should not be used as a backdoor means of granting relief to a plaintiff who failed to get their claim past the front door". Geraldine Whiteford is one of the lawyers representing Mariya Taylor. She talks to Susie Ferguson.