Ex-detective charged over police probe

By NICOLA BOYES

A former detective who investigated complaints against police made by Rotorua woman Louise Nicholas has appeared in court charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by suppressing her allegations.

John Dewar, now the human resources manager for St John, had to be directed towards the dock by his lawyer Giles Brant when his name was called in the Hamilton District Court yesterday.

The 53-year-old stood impassively before Judge Anne McAloon as he was remanded on bail to reappear in court on June 2.

He did not plead to four charges of attempting to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice between 1993 and 1995.

Dewar was chief inspector of the Rotorua CIB when Mrs Nicholas went to police in 1993 making allegations against now former police officers Robert Schollum, Bradley Shipton and now Assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickards.

The charges allege that Dewar suppressed her allegations.

The Police Complaints Authority has twice investigated Dewar's handling of Mrs Nicholas' allegations. One report congratulated him on a job well done and the other said he showed a gross lack of judgment and competence.

The Crown, represented by prosecutor Brent Stanaway, alleges Dewar attempted to pervert the course of justice during the trial of a man, who has permanent name suppression, by giving inadmissible hearsay evidence on December 7, 1993, and again on June 8, 1994.

It also alleges that between May 10 and July 12, 1995, Dewar manipulated Mrs Nicholas during a police review initiated following judicial criticism of his evidence given at the trial of the man.

Finally, the Crown alleges that between January 13, 1993, and July 13, 1994, Dewar suppressed allegations Mrs Nicholas made against Messrs Shipton, Schollum and Rickards.

The men are currently facing charges in relation to Mrs Nicholas' historic complaints.

In a statement issued through his lawyer yesterday Dewar denied all the allegations and said he welcomed the opportunity to clear his name.

Dewar had taken leave from his job at St John last year when a police investigation into historic complaints by Mrs Nicholas was launched but he returned to work in November.

Yesterday St John Midland region chief executive Eddie Jackson said he was taking advice on Dewar's position.

Dewar's bail conditions include surrendering his passport and living at his home near Hamilton.

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