Navy sex case: Scott Ward's lawyer accuses victim of 'making it up'

Scott Ward is on trial at the Auckland District Court for sexual violation. Photo / File
Scott Ward is on trial at the Auckland District Court for sexual violation. Photo / File

The jury in the Navy sexual violation case has been asked to consider whether the victim is telling the truth.

"Or is she just making it up as she goes along?," defence lawyer Anthony Rogers asked the jurors during his closing.

Scott Christopher Devonport Ward is on trial at the Auckland District Court on a charge of sexual violation by way of unlawful sexual connection with a junior naval officer in October 2011.

The woman, who has automatic name suppression, alleges Ward came into her cabin uninvited and forced his way into her bed.

The name of the ships involved are suppressed, as well as aspects of the ranks of those involved, details of Navy business and details about the witnesses.

The woman says Ward pinned her down, groped her breasts and digitally penetrated her against her will, only stopping when another person entered the cabin.

In the last day of arguments, Rogers asked why the woman could remember details about how her breasts were described but couldn't recall having sex with someone she was in a casual relationship with after the alleged sexual violation.

The woman also said Ward told her "shhh, just let it happen" during the violation, but during her police interview she said he told her "stop struggling, let it happen".

While each was a "little indicator", they all added up to make her an unreliable witness.

"If she doesn't have an answer, she'll make it up."

Rogers said "everything that night was consensual" and he "would not have gone as far as he did if he did not believe she wasn't consenting".

The law wasn't concerned with the sexual activity of two consenting adults, he said.

"Even if she did not consent, did that happen on the basis that he honestly thought she was consenting and on reasonable grounds."

Ward's defence is he thought the encounter was consensual.

But why would the woman make a false accusation, Roger asked. He submitted she wanted to be discharged from the Navy.

"Her career, I suggest, at the time she made the complaint, was in ruins. She had not achieved what she wanted to achieve, and was not fit for sea service.

"To be blunt about it, she was driving a desk at that point and not a ship."

The trial continues with Judge Claire Ryan set to summarise the evidence this afternoon for the jury before sending them to decide a verdict.

- NZ Herald

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