David Fisher

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Hundreds turn out to farewell Bruce Hutton

Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton at the murder scene during the investigation that led to the conviction of Arthur Thomas for the Crewe murders. Photo / File
Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton at the murder scene during the investigation that led to the conviction of Arthur Thomas for the Crewe murders. Photo / File

Dozens of serving and former police officers turned out today to farewell Bruce Hutton, who was infamously accused of planting the evidence in the Crewe murder case.

The funeral for the retired chief inspector drew about 200 mourners at the Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland. Among them was Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush, who paid tribute to Mr Hutton and quoted a former senior officer who described him as an officer whose "integrity is beyond reproach".

Mr Bush placed the quote as being made in 1968 when Mr Hutton gained the rank of Inspector. Two years later, he was appointed to lead the investigation into the murder of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe in Pukekawa, in rural south Auckland.

Their deaths were discovered after Mrs Crewe's father reported finding the couple's two-year-old daughter, Rochelle, alone in a blood-stained house.

The investigation led by Mr Hutton resulted in the conviction of farmer Arthur Allan Thomas. He was convicted again at a re-trial, and then pardoned after questions were raised about the evidence against him.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry later found Mr Hutton and another officer had planted the bullets used in evidence to convict Mr Thomas. Further questions about the case have surfaced in subsequent years, and a fresh review of the case was ordered in 2010 when Rochelle Crewe, now an adult who uses another name, emerged to ask police to find her parents' killer.

The review is close to completion, with police seeking a review by a senior lawyer.

- NZ Herald

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