Jared Savage

Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Cop at centre of sex probe quits force

Police code of conduct investigation over after resignation for 'fresh start'

No charges were laid against Mark Gutry. Photo / Michael Craig
No charges were laid against Mark Gutry. Photo / Michael Craig

A high-profile Auckland police officer cleared of a criminal sex complaint has resigned ahead of an employment investigation "to make a fresh start".

But police have refused to answer questions about the alleged breaches of the code of conduct as the investigation "is now at an end".

No charges were laid against Detective Inspector Mark Gutry following a complaint of sexual violation made by a prostitute last July. The evidence from the nine-month inquiry was reviewed by the Crown Solicitor of Wellington before a decision was made last month to not pursue a criminal prosecution against Mr Gutry, who is married with children.

Mr Gutry, who has headed numerous high-profile investigations, was suspended from his senior role in the Counties Manukau police district in December while detectives from Wellington handled the case.

Despite there being insufficient evidence to lay criminal charges, the 48-year-old then faced an internal disciplinary inquiry which centred on why he looked at the woman's file on the police computer system, known as the National Intelligence Application (NIA), up to 20 times over two years.

Last night, the complainant said she was happy Mr Gutry was no longer in the police.

She was also not surprised that Mr Gutry left "before he was pushed".

The Weekend Herald understands that 15 police misconduct charges were originally laid against Mr Gutry, but his resignation means the employment inquiry will not go ahead.

At the time that Mr Gutry was cleared of criminal conduct his lawyer, Todd Simmonds, said his client was pleased with the outcome of the criminal investigation and his intention at "this point in time is to return to police duties as soon as is possible".

But yesterday he confirmed that Mr Gutry had tendered his resignation.

Asked why Mr Gutry had resigned, Mr Simmonds said there were a number of allegations which his client disputed, but decided to leave the police to "make a fresh start".

"Mr Gutry appreciates that whatever the result of contested employment proceedings, his position and future prospects within the police have been adversely affected by these allegations," said Mr Simmonds.

"In the circumstances, and after careful consideration, Mr Gutry has chosen to resign so that he can move on with his life with a minimum of further stress and aggravation to both himself and his family."

Mr Gutry denied he had sexual relationships with women while on duty, said Mr Simmonds.

The criminal investigation was launched when the woman wrote to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall last July and was supported throughout the nine-month inquiry by Louise Nicholas, whose evidence launched a Commission of Inquiry into police sexual conduct, and is now an advocate for sexual abuse survivors.

The Weekend Herald asked to speak to Police Commissioner Mike Bush about the resignation, but police refused to answer specific questions.

In a statement, Assistant Commissioner Alan Boreham confirmed the resignation was effective immediately. "This follows an employment investigation into allegations that he breached the Police Code of Conduct. Given Mr Gutry's resignation, that investigation is now at an end."

- NZ Herald

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