Hawke's Bay constable in assault steps down from job

By COREY CHARLTON

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An off-duty Hawke's Bay police constable who assaulted a woman who accused her of snorting drugs during a night out has resigned from the police force.

Mikayla Paul, 23, had been subject to an internal investigation and was on restricted duties before her resignation. Judge Josephine Bouchier found the charge of assault proved at a hearing in the Napier District Court last year.

Court documents show the court heard how Paul had assaulted Lisa O'Connor on a bus taking a group of people to the Thirsty Whale bar in Napier on June 2, 2012.

Earlier that evening Ms O'Connor had accused Paul and her friend of snorting drugs in a rugby club toilet cubicle, which they denied. Ms O'Connor suffered from bruising and had clumps of hair missing after the assault.

Yesterday a police spokeswoman confirmed Paul had "recently" resigned but would not specify when.

Ms Paul has two previous convictions while in the police force. In February 2010 she pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving causing injury and in November 2010 she pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

Nationwide, at least 67 police staff have been arrested in the past three years while serving on the force. The charges include dealing LSD, assault and drink-driving.

In 2011, 28 police employees were arrested on charges including impersonating police, assault with intent to injure, unlawful sexual connection to a female and obstructing the course of justice.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said the figures clearly showed police don't look after their own. "If there were no police officers being arrested and charged ever, I think the public would have rightfully more concern that there was covering up.

"No one who has had anything to do with police, particularly lawyers who look after police officers, would ever say anything other than they're absolutely and utterly thorough," he said.

Mr O'Connor said many of the cases highlighted by the figures would have been found not guilty by the courts because, had they been a civilian, they probably would not have been charged.

additional reporting APN

- Hawkes Bay Today

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