Focus on Police Competence

The Trevor Franklin Police Botchup - Index

2001 News Reports - Index

The Dominion
October 24 2001

Girl's dad wants detective sacked

The father of one of three girls wrongfully jailed for seven months is happy police have apologised, but wants the officer he believes responsible sacked.

Vini Kavi said Detective Constable Trevor Franklin, the former test cricketer who was in charge of the case, should be dismissed.

"I've got nothing against the police, it's just him. He's the one who made my girl go into prison. If he'd done his work properly the girls wouldn't have been arrested."

His comments followed a visit yesterday from Superintendent Howard Broad, the Auckland district commander, to apologise.

Mr Broad said apologising was hard. "We each join the police with a view we are going to do good things, so to be responsible for an investigation such as this strikes at the heart of what we're trying to do."

However, he said mistakes did occur. "In this case it seems errors compounded right across the criminal justice system and the normal checks and balances set in place simply didn't prevent this miscarriage of justice."

The botched investigation was a "failure of the criminal justice system", Mr Broad said.

Mr Kavi's daughter, Tania Vini, Lucy Akatere, both 17, and Krishla Fuataha, 16, were jointly convicted of aggravated robbery in August 1999.

They were bailed in April after more than seven months in Mt Eden Women's Prison when private investigator Bryan Rowe and lawyer Gary Gotlieb helped persuade police to reinvestigate.

Errors were uncovered, the girls were cleared of any involvement, and an inquiry started.

Mr Broad will not comment on the internal inquiry till it is completed, possibly next month.

Mr Franklin is still working and has employed a lawyer.

Mr Kavi said the past two years had been "hellish", but he never gave up faith in his daughter's innocence.

"People kept saying my daughter was guilty so why did I keep fighting, but she said she didn't do anything and I believed her."

The girls are receiving counselling and hope to return to school and normality as soon as possible. They have signed exclusive deals with two women's magazines.