NZ Crime Drama about David Dougherty for TVNZ Sunday Theatre

11 04 2008

One of New Zealand’s most disturbing real-life crime stories is to be transformed into a Drama for TV ONE’s Sunday Theatre slot.

“Until Proven Innocent”, the story of David Dougherty and the three strangers who fought to get him a pardon for a crime he didn’t commit, is to be made into a feature length film by Lippy Pictures Ltd with a New Zealand on Air grant of $1.35 million.

David Dougherty was found guilty and jailed in 1992 for the abduction, sexual violation and rape of an 11 year old girl.

Three people who had never met him became convinced of his innocence – journalist Donna Chisholm, lawyer Murray Gibson, and scientist Arie Geursen – and began a crusade to overturn his conviction.

The drama will recount their four year battle, through two trials, two high court appeals and a petition to the Governor General, to get him pardoned.

Their efforts were vindicated in 2002 when another man, Nicholas Reekie, was convicted of the crime.

The David Dougherty case is sometimes referred to as ‘the other Arthur Alan Thomas’ because in many ways it mirrors that earlier wrongful conviction.

“Until Proven Innocent” is written and produced by Donna Malane and Paula Boock, who worked together as producer and writer respectively of the highly-rated New Zealand dramas “Insiders Guide to Happiness” and “Insiders Guide to Love”.

The drama is expected to go to air on Sunday Theatre in the first half of 2009.

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6 responses

15 04 2008
Mumz

Hello Brad,
Just a correction to dates.
Dougherty was convicted in 1993.
pardoned??? He was found “Not Guilty” in 1997 after being bailed from Rangipo in 1996,August.

Reekie was convicted in 2003.

16 04 2008
Bradley Walker

We have had another reader who let us know:

I have noticed that dates quoted in NZ Crime Drama about David Dougherty article are incorrect.

Dougherty was convicted in 1993 for the 1992 rape.
He was released from Rangipo 21 August 1996 to await trial to clear him in 1997.
http://www.peterellis.org.nz/FalseAllegations/2001-0713_Herald_DavidDoughertyLockedUpInANightmare.htm

Reekie was found guilty in 2003 not 2002
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3504996

Hopefully the film will portray fact not fiction as Donna Chisholm reported in the Sunday Star-Times (25 Oct 1998, A1-2)

I also notice that some facts relating to DNA have been muddled and mis-reported in the past.

16 04 2008
Mumz

Brad has anyone thought how dragging all this up again could hurt Dougherty?
What does he think about it? What does Joann Atutolu think about it?
Or doesn’t it matter as long as Chisholm,Gibson & Geursen get their spot of glory ………again!

28 04 2008
Mumz

I have been corresponding with Lippy and have informed them of the correct dates.
They have today rewritten their Media Statement, but are still publishing incorrect details.
Is it always so difficult to get media people to portray the truth?
Or are the lies so ingrained they find the truth hard to print.

29 04 2008
Bradley Walker

For those interested in Lippy Pictures Media Statement please go to Lippy Pictures Media Statement

22 05 2008
sis

Chisholm,Gibson & Geursen were such a great help in getting my brother out of jail they are the reason he is out and cleared of these charges today, and i would say that they deserve to be praised for this.

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