A Cambridge horse rider on trial for sexually abusing young girls with her partner has been grilled about the lies she told police.
When a Bay of Plenty family laid a complaint with Tauranga police about how Laken Rose and Andrew Williams sexually abused two of their daughters, Rose denied anything inappropriate happened.
"I'm telling you that is not true," Rose said in May last year. "I would never let that happen."
But under cross-examination by Anna Pollett, the Crown Solicitor for Tauranga, Rose said she told lies in the police interview to cover up for Williams.
"Andy told me what to say. I was terrified of him."
Her defence to many of the 50 charges of sexual abuse is that she was compelled to groom young girls for Andrew Williams, or participate in sexual acts for filming, because she was scared of Williams' violence and threats.
If Rose was scared of Williams, Pollett suggested to her that telling the police in the May interview was the "perfect opportunity" to seek help.
"At this stage, I did not believe the police could keep me safe from him," said Rose.
"In hindsight yes, but at the time in the mental state I was in, I was terrified of Andrew. I did what he told me to do, to cover it up."
Pollett said there was no independent evidence of the violence Rose said she suffered at the hands of Williams.
"It's a fiction, isn't it?" asked Pollett, a suggestion which Rose denied.
"He would strangle me to the point of unconsciousness, with his arm on my throat, it wouldn't leave a mark," said Rose.
She would explain away any bruises from being struck, as injuries from her horse riding.
Rose denied that she participated in the sexual acts for her own sexual gratification and claimed her own sexual relationship with Williams, which lasted for 10 years, was non-consensual.
"Sex was all about him, what he wanted, I was to do as he wanted," said Rose. "I didn't say no, but I didn't consent."
Pollett also quizzed her about packets of children's underwear, with the crotches cut out, and sex toys found in a set of drawers beside the couple's bed in the Cambridge home.
Rose said she was unaware of underwear in the drawers, as she did not purchase them and was too scared to ever go through Williams' drawers.
She was also unaware of pink fluffy handcuffs attached to the bed, or a bag of girls' clothing found on the floor.
The cross-examination of Rose by Pollett will continue this afternoon.
She has pleaded not guilty to 50 charges of sexual violation, indecently assaulting children under 12, making objectionable publications, possessing objectionable material and inducing young persons to commit indecent acts.
The charges against Rose relate to four girls aged between 3 and 14 at various locations including Palmerston North, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty over a five year period.
Her defence to most of the charges she faces is that she was compelled to participate under duress by her former partner Andrew Alan Williams.
The 54-year-old Williams pleaded guilty to 56 charges at the start of the trial last week.
These offences against 7 victims including eight of rape, along with a raft of charges for sexually violating young girls, indecently assaulting children under 12, making objectionable publications, possessing objectionable material and inducing young persons to commit indecent acts.
Rose had previously said her relationship with Williams was "intense", including times when he strangled her to the point of unconsciousness.
"I'm not sure what I did to make him so angry, but I did. He grabbed me by the neck and yelled 'Why do you have to make me so angry, why can't you keep me happy?' and told me I was worthless," Laken Rose told the High Court yesterday morning.
"I couldn't breath..he completely overpowered me."
She said text messages exchanged between herself and Williams, where the couple discussed young girls in sexual terms, were her efforts to keep Williams "happy".
Instead, Rose said she was just pretending to find girls for Williams.
"He wanted me to find [girls] for him. For him to take photos and for him to have sex with them," Rose said, answering questions from her defence lawyer Philip Morgan QC.
"I would tell him I was working on a girl but it would all blow up. The outcome for me wasn't good...Andrew got incredibly mad at me...shout at me...get violent with me...that he would kill me, harm my family and animals."
However, the Crown prosecution case is that Rose is far more involved in the sexual crimes of her former partner than she admits.
The trial in front of Justice Matthew Muir is likely to end this week, with the High Court judge indicating he would give verdicts on the 50 charges before Christmas.
Rose has already pleaded guilty to nine charges of inducing an indecent act on a young person, while four charges of the same nature were withdrawn by the Crown.
Before she started giving evidence yesterday morning, Rose pleaded guilty to a further charge of making a film showing the sexual exploitation of a young girl knowing the video was objectionable.
Rose was employed to exercise horses as a track rider and was well known in the small circles of the Cambridge equestrian scene.
In giving evidence in her own defence, the 31-year-old Rose said she was born and bred in Dannevirke.
She grew up riding horses all her life, and started working in the horse industry when she left school.
Rose was competing in showjumping and eventing competitions when she first met Andrew Williams, who was the uncle of one of her friends.
She was 19 at the time, Williams was 42. Within weeks, Williams had moved into her flat. A few months later, Williams leased another house on a block of land where Rose could keep her horses.
Moving to the rural property about 20 minutes from the Dannevirke township, had the effect of isolating Rose from her family and friends.
"He was very controlling. He controlled all the money, even the food."
This control extended to their sex life, Rose told the High Court at Hamilton where Justice Matthew Muir is presiding over the trial without a jury.
"He told me very early in the relationship, we would have sex when he wanted sex," said Rose.
"He would dress me up as a school girl, put me in pigtails and I would have to perform sex acts on him that I was not comfortable with."
Defence lawyer Philip Morgan, QC, asked Rose why she stayed with Williams.
"I did love him, I didn't want to hurt him."
While Williams could also be "incredibly caring" and charming, particularly after being violent, Rose said Williams would threaten to kill her, poison her family, and harm her animals.
"I believed him."
After a while, Williams and Rose moved to Auckland. Rose said Williams continued to completely control her life, to the point that money she earned would be transferred into his bank account.
Rose said Williams pressured her to find women to engage in "threesome" sexual encounters, as well as showing her photos of naked teenage girls.
"I completely freaked out, I said that wasn't right."
Rose said she was so frightened of Williams' temper, that she agreed to hold a laptop or phone so Williams could see the photographs while having sex with her.
"I was scared to make him mad. I knew what happened when I didn't do what I was told."