WannaBen’s Ben Boyce has appeared in the Manukau District Court this afternoon with his fellow accused over the stunt they tried to pull at Auckland Airport last September.
Boyce, The Rock host Bryce Casey, TV producer Andrew Robinson, Daniel Watkins, Craig O’Reilly and Gregory Clarke appeared at Manukau District Court today charged with providing false information in an attempt to gain access to a secure area.
At the sentence indication hearing all the accused changed their plea to guilty.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
The case had originally been set down for a defended hearing but last week a decision was made to hold a sentence indication hearing.
The stunt was widely condemned by the aviation industry which said the men could find it difficult to travel internationally if convicted.
At one of their initial appearances one of the men’s lawyers sought diversion, but police said that had been denied.
Prime Minister John Key said the stunt was “irresponsible from a bunch of clowns that should know better”.
In a statement issued in September by TV3′s owner MediaWorks, Boyce said he was “very sorry for all the trouble [the stunt] has caused”.
“This was an attempt at humour which we fully accept was misplaced.”
Clarke, O’Reilly and Watkins were discharged without conviction for their part in the failed comedy skit.
All three were fined $250.
Judge Gus Andree Witens said he saw these men playing a smaller role in the stunt.
He said they did not plan the skit nor could the say no to the organisers.
He took into account their low level of offending and the effect a conviction would have on their careers.
While a sentencing hearing will be held on July 24, the media have been gagged and told they’re not allowed to report on the outcome of the other three accused.