He is described in this Stuff report as “a veteran protester” although Alf is more inclined to regard him as an ageing trouble-maker.
His name is Castislav “Sam” Bracanov and the silly old fart has been found guilty of throwing a bucket of watered-down horse manure over former ACT leader John Banks last year.
Actually, the charge was common assault.
As you will see further down, assaults on a commoner do not command the same sense of outrage as assaults on the royals or their motor vehicles.
The evidence that Bracanov did assault a commoner is not easy to refute, notwithstanding his not guilty plea. A video of the incident can be seen above.
The case was heard by a Judge Anne Kiernan.
Judge Kiernan said Bracanov did not dispute what happened last year.
The issue was that Bracanov believed he was not guilty of the assault because he thought Banks deserved to have manure thrown over him, she said.
While Bracanov believed he had done the right thing, he did not produce any legal defence to the charge, the judge said.
The horse shit was thrown on the first day of Banks’ High Court trial on charges of knowingly filing a false electoral return relating to his failed 2010 bid for the Auckland mayoralty.
As we all know, Banks was later found guilty but the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal late last year and a retrial ordered.
Banks was back in court for the occasion of this Bracanov bugger’s court appearance, but pnly because he was summoned to give evidence. He said Bracanov was an old man who was not well.
You can say that again.
But what was it all about?
During the trial the judge watched a recording of a police interview with Bracanov where he explained how he hid behind a car, waiting to throw the manure over Banks outside the High Court in Auckland on May 19 last year.
The 79-year-old said he got the manure from a paddock at Mangere Bridge in South Auckland, and watered it down.
Bracanov said he believed Banks owed him $8000 because he was fined $10,000 in 1992 for throwing manure on a visiting royal Rolls Royce but should have only been fined $2000. Banks was police minister at the time.
It seems the debt is now settled.
Cheaply, too. Bracanov picked up the horse shit for nothing and is unlikely to have paid for the water to dilute it and make it messier.
Throwing it over Banks obviously gave him $8000 worth of satisfaction.
Bracanov said he and Banks were now “square”, and he now had respect for Banks.
Banks said he did not harbour any animosity towards Bracanov and did not make a complaint about the manure incident.
At a previous court appearance on the charge Bracanov said the mud throwing was an act of revenge.
Banks, who was the first witness, said an “old man” who seemed “very angry” and “very agitated” tipped a bucket of horse manure over him.
Banks said the muck ruined his suit and did not help with his day at court.
“The last thing I needed on that morning was an altercation with anyone,” he said.
Banks was then given leave by the High Court to go home and change his clothes before his trial began.
Readers who have been paying attention to the aggrieved Bracanov’s antics will have noted how the court dealt with the silly old fart after he had tossed horse shit over the royals’ Rolls.
Yep. He was fined $10,000 (and Alf is sure Banksie had absolutely no influence on this).
In the good old days he would have been beheaded.
But here’s the thing…
If the penalty for tossing horse shit over a car is $10,000, what do you get for throwing it over an elected member of Parliament?
Let Alf (who is deeply troubled by the answer) enlighten you on this small matter:
Judge Anne Kiernan ordered Castislav “Sam” Bracanov to pay $400 plus court costs at the Auckland District Court today.
Bracanov said he would do it again and said the judge was “not human” for finding him guilty.
Alf’s advice to her is to be very careful about who might be lurking behind the bushes next time she walks into court.