Disgraced Hastings barrister Sacha Beacham has received two more convictions and a judge has said a person in her position should have known better than try to intervene when police were doing their job.
Name suppression was lifted for the 40-year-old defence lawyer, who also lost her bid to prevent photographs being taken in the Hastings District Court yesterday following charges laid after a New Year's Eve stand-off in Napier where she abused police while clinging desperately to the window-wipers of a friend's car.
Beacham was travelling as a passenger in her male friend's Volvo, which was pulled over on Breakwater Rd by police about 2.15am.
It's understood the two had been drinking at a bar in Ahuriri.
Beacham took offence when her associate was asked to accompany police after he failed an initial breath-alcohol test. She abused police and told them to "shut the ****** door" and "**** off".
After repeatedly ignoring their requests, she then tried to avoid being handcuffed and grabbed hold of the Volvo's wipers and continued to hurl abuse.
She was charged with resisting police, obstruction and disorderly behaviour. A charge of performing an indecent act with intent to offend was also laid, which related to an incident that night in the Napier Police Station cells.
At yesterday's hearing, a forlorn-looking Beacham represented herself and admitted to obstruction and resisting. The two remaining charges were withdrawn by prosecution.
Judge Barney Thomas said Beacham had agreed her behaviour on the night was "entirely misplaced and inappropriate". He said with her legal background she should have known the police were acting within their rights.
"Holding a position that you did, you should have been well aware of police having to carry out procedures without you having to intervene as you did in this situation," the judge said.
He fined her $200 on both charges and ordered her to pay $132 court costs.
After being alerted by Judge Thomas of the in-court camera applications filed by media, Beacham said she knew nothing of the applications yet strongly opposed them.
"I don't see the point [of photographs]," Beacham said. "Written reporting" of her case would suffice, she argued. "This is low-level offending ... I'm concerned about how the photos would be used in the future."
She said the result could affect her legal career and be taken out of context.
Judge Thomas claimed the principle of open reporting applied and granted the application.
In mitigation, she told the court her previous drink-drive charges were unrelated to the case. "I've relocated to Auckland, so don't require to have anything to do with Hawke's Bay police professionally or personally. The chances of this [offending] ever happening again are remote."
Outside court, she hurled abuse at photographers and screamed at the top of her voice while walking through Hastings CBD.
She stopped outside Hawke's Bay Today offices to yell: "Shame on you, Hawke's Bay Today" and said she was heading to the pub if media wanted to take another photo of her there.
She had appeared regularly as a defence lawyer in the Hastings District Court but withdrew from her role as duty solicitor after her third drink-driving conviction last year.
Since being admitted to the bar in 2005, she has earned $73,161 from Legal Aid Services.
Beacham, the daughter of local GP and Beacham Independent Jaguar owner Greg Beacham, was not supported by family in court.
She was unable to be contacted for comment later.
New Zealand Law Society acting complaints manager Malcolm Ellis confirmed she no longer held a practising certificate. He would not confirm whether the society had received a specific complaint, or had taken its own disciplinary action.
"Our hands are tied in terms of confidentiality," Mr Ellis said. "Each case is dealt with on its own merits."
Mr Ellis said for lawyers to renew their annual certificate they had to meet the definition of a "fit and proper person" to practise law.
Anyone without a certificate could not represent someone in court or give legal advice.
Previous court appearances
2002: Convicted for drink-driving.
2007: Convicted for drink-driving.
2009: Cleared on charges of assault, theft and being unlawfully on property after an early-morning dispute with an ex-boyfriend in his Haumoana home in 2008.
August 2011: Convicted for drink-driving.
June 2012: Convicted for resisting, and convicted for obstructing police.