Security consultant to plead not guilty over bug discovery

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by Beth Newman

All Blacks security consultant Adrian Gard is set to plead not guilty to public mischief related to last year's listening device scandal after appearing in court. 

Gard faces a charge of 'falsely representing to police or event calling for an investigation' after the discovery of a listening device that enveloped the opening Bledisloe Cup match last season, with his lawyer Simon Joyner indicating he would enter a plea of not guilty on Tuesday.

According to court documents, Gard is accused of making a false statement to police over the listening device, as opposed to any charge around the planting of that device.

Under that charge, it is alleged Gard told police he 'discovered an unlawful listening device secreted in a chair situated in the All Blacks' team room', a discovery that led to a police investigation, overshadowing the lead-in to the opening Bledisloe Cup match last August.

The matter has been adjourned until May 2, with a hearing date to be set then.

Joyner requested that hearing date be one on which All Blacks management available to provide evidence, meaning coach Steve Hansen and others may yet be subpoenaed.

Joyner spoke outside court, indicating Gard's next step and saying he respected the All Blacks.

"Mr Gard will present a plea of not guilty," he said.

"He has participated with the police investigation and he respects the All Blacks and what they represent."

Steve Hansen has brushed off critism from England coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Getty ImagesThe 51-year-old is a consultant for Bodyguards International, owned by his brother Ashley. 

BGI has acted as security for numerous high-profile personalities, including Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, as well as working for the All Blacks for many years. 

At the time of the charges, All Blacks coach Hansen described the accusations as "bizarre". 

“Frankly, the charge seems bizarre and unbelievable. It’s very hard to understand," he said at the time. 

"The charged man has worked for the All Blacks, and many other organisations, for a long time and is someone who is trusted and well-respected by us."