Adam Dunnett trial: Witnesses testify

By Sam Hurley

Hawke's Bay police officer Adam Dunnett leaving the Napier District Court yesterday. Photo/Paul Taylor
Hawke's Bay police officer Adam Dunnett leaving the Napier District Court yesterday. Photo/Paul Taylor

An emotional witness yelled across the court "that is a lie", when questioned by the lawyer of a Hawke's Bay police officer on trial for indecent assault.

Day three of the Adam Dunnett trial is underway this morning in the Napier District Court.

The 37-year-old Flaxmere constable denies the 10 counts of indecent assault on five teenage woman.

Today's first witness described a December 2011 party at the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club, previous witnesses have also given their accounts of the party during the trial.

The teenager said she began drinking the wine Dunnett had bought for herself and a friend before later feeling the ill effects of the alcohol and vomiting.

"I saw Adam behind [complainant], spooning her, so I quickly ran out of the room because I was scared ... I ran into the toilet, I was shocked and scared," she said "I heard [complainant] call out 'f**k off'."

During cross-examination Dunnett's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, said the alcohol the witness had consumed had "clouded your view of everything".

He also claimed the witness had "developed in [her] mind" a different series of events and did not see Dunnett lying in bed with her friend.

"That is a lie! Yes, I did see them on that bed," she responded.

Yesterday the complainant gave evidence and said Dunnett made several attempts to touch her, including rubbing her leg and and placing his hands around her waist. Dunnett then allegedly took her to the clubs bunk rooms downstairs.

"When I was down there I felt trapped," she said. "He pushed me up against the bunk beds and tried to kiss me and stick his tongue down my throat. I was crying, and really upset, I was in shock."

She said later in the evening, after going to sleep in the club house, she awoke to find the 37-year-old behind her with one hand down her pants and one on her bra.

"As soon as I realised he was behind me I yelled 'f**k off'."

Today's second witness, who was also at the December 2011 party, is currently on the stand and said he "respected" and "looked up to" Dunnett before the alleged offences took place.

He said the morning after the alleged incident he spoke to Dunnett, who "knew what he was doing and what he wanted to do."

Dunnett is expected to take the witness stand as the trial comes to a conclusion after the Crown's final witnesses are called today.

The incidents were allegedly committed while he was a volunteer lifeguard director and coach at Ocean Beach between May 2011 and New Year's Day 2013.

The charges arose after parties at the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club and the Taradale Fire Station.

In total, the Crown alleged there were five different "events or episodes".

Dunnett is still employed with police but is suspended on full pay.

The trial, before Judge Les Atkins QC, continues.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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