The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 Jan-May

The Press
February 13 1993

Options uncertain for crèche accused
by Martin Van Beynen

Uncertainty surrounds the next step in the legal process for the five former Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre workers who were on Thursday committed to trial on indecency charges

Although the High Court will attempt to set a timetable for the trial on Friday next week, several applications may need to be settled before firm dates can be set.

One option available to counsel for the accused is to apply to the High Court for discharges under section 347 of the Crimes Act. Under the section a judge may use his discretion to discharge the accused after a perusal of evidence adduced at the lower court hearing and consideration of other evidence.

Defence counsel may also attack the admissibility of the videotaped interviews with the 20 complainants in the case on the ground the children were not properly taken through promises to tell the truth.

Heraings on these issues could take weeks as the judge reviews the large quantity of evidence already produced.