Allegations of abuse by NZ Police

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This page last updated July 31 2007

27 July 2007; Defence lawyer falls ill; trial adjourned
Defence lawyer, Paul Mabey, has fallen ill. The jury was sent home at the start of the scheduled Friday hearing. The trial is expected to resume on Monday

2007-0727 - Waikato Times - Lawyer illness delays Dewar trial

2007-0727 - Radio NZ - Dewar trial adjourned due to lawyer's illness

2007-0727 - Newswire - Dewar Trial Adjourned Due To Lawyer's Illness

2007-0727 - NZ Herald - Ex-cop's trial jury sent home for weekend

2007-0727 - One News - Illness stalls Dewar trial again

26 July 2007; Notes of Nicholas meeting goes missing
Retired police Inspector Ray Sutton provides evidence. In 1993, as a relieving senior sergeant. Sutton spoke with Nicholas at the request of her father about two incidents of sexual abuse. Mr Sutton said he took only "very brief" notes of the interview, as it was not a complaint interview. He then said the notebook he used during the interview later disappeared, when he tried to find it some months later. The last time he could remember seeing the notebook was when he was briefing Dewar on the allegations in a police office.

2007-0726 - Radio NZ - Notebook recording first meeting goes missing

2007-0727 - Waikato Times - Ex-cop recalls talk of baton

2007-0727 - NZ Herald - Jury hears of vanished notes in police misconduct case

26 July 2007; Louise Nicholas mother Barbara Crawford evidence
Barbara Crawford, mother of Louise Nicholas 

Barbara Crawford

Barbara Crawford recounted her daughter telling police of the alleged abuse by Mr Rickards, Schollum and Shipton.  "I just remember it was sexual abuse, but when the name Schollum came up, I went into shock; I didn't really hear much of the rest of it," she said. I don't remember whether the word rape was used," said Crawford.

2007-0726 - Radio NZ - Louise Nicholas sticks by claim about rape allegations

2007-0727 - Waikato Times - Lawyer illness delays Dewar trial

2007-0726 - One News - Nicholas faces grilling in court

26 July 2007; Louise Nicholas under cross examination
Louise NicholasLouise Nicholas was being cross-examined over claimed inconsistencies in her statements to police and the media.

Nicholas repeatedly told the Court that she did disclose her historical allegations of rape to Dewar. Under cross examination, Mrs Nicholas said she was unhappy with the contents of a written statement after she read it ten years later, which was signed by her but written by the accused

Signed statements were produced in court as evidence from the mid-1990s and the jury heard how Dewar had written a statement for Nicholas. Nicholas, who then signed it, said it was full of impressive words. But she says she had not read it, rather she had just skimmed through it. It confirms Nicholas never told Dewar about the sexual assault allegations against police officers Clint Rickards, Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum

Louise Nicholas:
Attention seeker?

Dewar's lawyer, Paul Mabey, QC, accused Mrs Nicholas of being an "attention-seeker" He said over the past several years Nicholas had been "courting and pursuing publicity at every opportunity".  Mrs Nicholas replied, no, she did not like the media spotlight

Mr Mabey read a quote from a December 1995 Listener article by Denis Welch which quoted Mrs Nicholas saying she could not speak more highly of Dewar. The article quoted Mrs Nicholas saying "there was no way" Dewar could have known about the allegations against the three men because "I didn't go into any specifics about it because I would not tell him about it."

2007-0726 - Radio NZ - Louise Nicholas sticks by claim she did tell accused about rape allegations

2007-0726 - One News - Nicholas faces grilling in court

2007-0726 - NZ Herald - I was helping accused cop, Nicholas tells jury

2007-0726 - Newswire - Louise Nicholas Sticks By Rape Reporting Claim

2007-0726 - Waikato Times - Jury in police obstruction case down to 11

2007-0726 - Newstalk ZB - Louise Nicholas under cross-examination

2007-0726 - Newstalk ZB - Louise Nicholas finishes giving evidence

2007-0727 - Waikato Times - Ex-cop recalls talk of baton

25 July 2007; Juror falls ill; Jury reduced to 11
A jury member fell ill, and the case was adjourned for the day. The juror was later excused and the number on the jury reduced to eleven members

2007-0726 - Three News - Juror falls ill in Dewar trial

2007-0725 - Newstalk ZB - Sick juror stalls trial

2007-0726 - Waikato Times - Jury in police obstruction case down to 11

25 July 2007; Covert video evidence used
Louise Nicholas met with John Dewar in 2005 wearing a hidden microphone where he cautioned her about stirring up the past and told her to 'move on'. , Mr Dewar told her he knew her allegations regarding a sexual incident with a police baton was without her consent, but said he believed other aspects of her involvement with the men had been consensual.  On the tape Dewar also tells Mrs Nicholas that he is close friends with Clint Rickards and convicted rapists Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum.

2007-0725 - Three News - Covert video evidence used in Dewar trial

2007-0725 - Stuff - Jury sees Dewar baton admission video

2007-0725 - Radio NZ - Accused makes admission in secretly recorded video

2007-0725 - One News - Secret footage in Dewar trial

2007-0725 - Newstalk ZB - Court sees videotaped confrontation

2007-0725 - Waikato Times - Jury sees Dewar baton admission video

2007-0726 - Waikato Times - Dewar on tape: 'I certainly know'

24 July 2007; Louise Nicholas gives evidence
Louise NicholasLouise Nicholas told the High Court in Hamilton that Mr Dewar ignored her complaint against the three, and focussed solely an allegation she made about an earlier incident. Ms Nicholas told the court Dewar told her he wanted to take over the case because it involved serving officers, even though the earlier accused had left the force. She says she was puzzled by his apparent lack of interest in anything to do with Rickards, Shipton and Schollum and his refusal to take a formal statement

Nicholas also alleged that at a Rutland Street address in Rotorua Mr Rickards, Schollum and Shipton had sexually assaulted her and used a baton on her. Dewar denied Mrs Nicholas told him about the Rutland Street incident or the baton

Nicholas said she had been happy to sign a statement in her name, critical of Inspector Rex Miller who headed the Miller Inquiry into the handling of the mistrials, as she had found him gruff and did not like dealing with him, in comparison with Dewar whom she liked. Mrs Nicholas said she had not read the report and would not have signed it if she had known the statement said she had not told Dewar about the incident at Rutland Street and the use of the baton. "I know if it had done that ... I would have corrected it.

2007-0724 - Newstalk ZB - Louise Nicholas to take stand again

2007-0724 - Radio NZ - Nicholas begins evidence against former inspector

2007-0724 - Newswire - Louise Nicholas Starts Evidence In Dewar Trial

2007-0724 - Newstalk ZB - Nicholas evidence against former CIB head

2007-0725 - Radio NZ - Second day of trial of former police officer accused of coverup

2007-0725 - NZ Herald - Court video: Cop told Nicholas to 'move on'

2007-0725 - Newstalk ZB - Louise Nicholas continues in witness stand

2007-0725 - Stuff - Jury sees Dewar baton admission video

Paul Mabey

24 July 2007; Defence Opening statement
Dewar's lawyer Paul Mabey, QC, said Dewar never received a complaint from Mrs Nicholas about the alleged offending in Rotorua, and the threesome with Shipton and the Bay of Plenty woman never happened. "He had nothing to do whatsoever with this woman with or without Shipton. It didn't happen," he said.

2007-0724 - NZ Herald - Crown says ex-cop's friendship led to cover up

2007-0725 - Stuff - More group sex claims emerge at cop trial

24 July 2007; Motive for obstruction: Claims of group sex involving Dewar
Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh said Dewar had a "powerful motive" to obstruct any investigation. While Dewar maintained he only had a professional relationship with Shipton, he had in fact had a very close friendship, which had led to a group sex session with the two men and one other woman.

2007-0724 - NZ Herald - Crown says ex-cop's friendship led to cover up

2007-0725 - Stuff - More group sex claims emerge at cop trial

24 July 2007; Trial commences

Crown Prosecutor Mark Zarifeh

John Dewar is on trial in Hamilton. He is defending four charges of
perverting the course of justice. It is alleged that on "on diverse dates" between January 14, 1993 and July 13, 1993 he suppressed, or failed to act on the allegations made by Ms Nicholas.

He faces further charges of twice wilfully giving false evidence in the case of the first officer, causing a mistrial each time. At the first trial, he told the court of a conversation he had had with a witness, who was a family friend of Ms Nicholas. At the subsequent re-trial, he gave unprompted evidence of an investigation he was running in relation to allegations made by Ms Nicholas concerning four police officers.

He faces a fourth charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice charge for his alleged "manipulation" of Ms Nicholas during a police investigation into his evidence at the two trials.  That offending is alleged to have taken place between May and July, 1995

Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh told the court, in opening remarks, that Mrs Nicholas, then Louise Crawford, had approached police in 1993 with allegations of two separate historic sexual assaults. Mr Zarifeh told the court "from the outset" Dewar had told her he would pursue the complaint but that he never took any written statement and actively sought to suppress, prevent and discourage any formal prosecution

2007-0724 - Newstalk ZB - Suppression lifted for former CIB head

2007-0724 - Stuff - Cop on trial for obstructing Nicholas case

2007-0724 - Radio NZ - Trial Opens

2007-0724 - Radio NZ - Dewar before Court

2007-0724 - One News - Dewar accused of perverting justice

2007-0724 - One News - Final chapter in police sex saga

2007-0724 - NZ Herald - Crown says ex-cop's friendship led to cover up

2007-0724 - Three News - Former police chief faces trial over Nicholas rape case

23 July 2007; Supporters of Louise Nicholas plan to protest march
A group of women announce that they are organising protest marches to show their support for the complainants in the trial. They have declared Dewar’s guilt at the start of the trial claiming "It is the actions of people like Dewar that allowed members of the police to get away with rape for so long”

2007-0723 - Scoop - John Dewar Trial Protests Across The Country

John Dewar

22 July 2007;  Trial of John Dewar expected to start
Former Rotorua CIB head John Dewar will appear in the High Court at Hamilton on Tuesday (24th) on charges of attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice in connection with the Louise Nicholas case

2007-0722 - Stuff - Rickards lays complaint over crown lawyer

2007-0722 - NZ Herald - Rickards targets Crown

3 March 2007; Suppression orders lifted
A further High Court trial relating to the conduct of police officers involved in allegations of pack-rape is to take place in July. The High Court has lifted a suppression order allowing media to report that a former Rotorua detective is to face trial for conspiring to pervert the course of justice. John Dewar was head of the CIB in the city at the time rape complainant Louise Nicholas first raised her case. He is alleged to have mishandled her case. His trial had been delayed while the two rape trials against Rickards, Shipton and Schollum were dealt with.

2007-0303 - NZ Herald - CIB chief on Nicholas case counts

2007-0303 - Radio NZ - Suppression of details of charges against former cop lifted