Police officer on trial facing sex charges

By Sam Hurley -
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Former Flaxmere community constable Adam Dunnett in Napier court on sex charges. Photo / Warren Buckland
Former Flaxmere community constable Adam Dunnett in Napier court on sex charges. Photo / Warren Buckland

A Hawke's Bay police officer accused of indecently assaulting five teenagers told two girls they were drunk and "no one would believe them", a court has heard.

Adam Dunnett, 37, a Flaxmere constable, has gone on trial today in the Napier District Court.

He faces 10 counts of indecent assault while a volunteer lifeguard director at Ocean Beach.

Dunnett denies all the charges, alleged to have occurred between May 20, 2011 and the early hours of New Year's Day, 2013.

All the incidents are alleged to have occurred during parties where alcohol was consumed at the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club and the Taradale Fire Station.

Crown witness Adrian Barclay, a club committee member and junior surf co-ordinator, said Dunnett had taken up a coaching role at Ocean Beach 2010.

He said the police officer ran the surf squads "really well" and was a "valuable contributor" to the club.

During cross examination, Dunnett's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, asked Mr Barclay about the "social elements" of the club.

"I would say it is one of the more social clubs in the Hawkes Bay Area," said Mr Barclay.

He said since the alleged incidents occurred, a more "stringent" alcohol policy had been implemented to prevent underage drinking.

Crown prosecutor Gavin Thornton said Dunnett had asked a complainant if "she was going to tell anyone".

Following a separate incident Mr Thornton said Dunnett told two girls he was a police officer, they were drunk and "no one would believe them".

He said in total there were five different "events or episodes".

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

The trial, before Judge Les Atkins QC, continues this afternoon.

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