Constable charged with 'hair-pulling' assault

By Sam Boyer

Photo / Glenn Taylor
Photo / Glenn Taylor

A policewoman has been stood down after she and her boyfriend were jointly charged with assaulting the man's sister.

The charges stem from a domestic incident in December, in which both the 24-year-old constable and her 26-year-old boyfriend are alleged to have abused the woman.

The alleged assault occurred on December 21 in Henderson.

In Waitakere District Court yesterday the policewoman - in tears in the dock - was granted interim name suppression before community magistrate Lauolefale Lemalu.

Court duty solicitor Karen McQuinlan applied for suppression on the grounds the constable would suffer undue hardship in her role as an officer if her name was published. She had also not yet told her grandmother that she had been charged, the lawyer said, which Ms Lemalu accepted.

Her boyfriend, who stood beside her in the dock, was also granted interim name suppression, as publishing his name could lead to the policewoman being identified.

Ms McQuinlan told the court the charges came as a surprise to her client, who had been assured by the police she would not be charged when the alleged assault was initially reported in December.

She said the complaint involved "an allegation of hair-pulling" between the two women, before the police officer's boyfriend came to her defence.

"No charges were laid on the night. [Then] out of the blue in the last week, police have charged her and him. This was something she was told had been resolved."

The lawyer said police told her client at the time there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.

But after an internal police standards inquiry, police subsequently decided to arrest and charge the pair.

The charges, which will next be heard in the Family Violence Court later this month, "are going to be strenuously denied", Ms McQuinlan said.

Police would not comment on the particulars of the case while it was before the courts.

- NZ Herald

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