A jury has returned split verdicts for an Auckland police officer by finding him not guilty of assaulting a young woman but guilty of illegally presenting a Taser towards her.
Constable Sean Mathew Doak has been on trial in the Auckland District Court this week before a jury.
The 25-year-old was charged last year with assault with a weapon and of illegally presenting a restricted weapon.
At just before 9pm tonight, after deliberating for several hours, the jury returned its verdicts on both charges.
They found him not guilty of assault but guilty of presenting the restricted weapon.
Doak's family and friends had waited patiently into the night for the 12 jurors to decide his fate.
The police officer's lawyer, Todd Simmonds, asked Judge Noel Sainsbury not to enter a conviction on the second charge - foreshadowing a discharge without conviction application for his client.
Doak was then remanded at large by Judge Sainsbury until his sentencing next month.
The allegations against him came after a high-speed pursuit during the early hours of September 17, 2017.
The chase began in Mt Eden, with the fleeing driver in a white Subaru potentially reaching speeds of up to 200km/h, the court heard.
Police were forced to call off its ground units, while the Eagle helicopter tracked the suspect car to the underground carpark of Auckland's downtown casino after police had spiked its tyres.
The driver quickly bolted from the scene leaving 23-year-old Mary Jane Takerei in the passenger seat.
Doak and his partner, Constable Florence Roberts, were the first officers on the scene, the court heard.
Takerei told the court after the two officers opened her car doors Doak pepper sprayed her before she was dragged away by police from her ankles.
"It burned really badly ... It just burned my whole face," she said of the pepper spray.
Multiple police officers, however, also said Takerei sprayed Roberts in the face with what appeared to be a can of CRC.
But Takerei has denied this.
Simmonds questioned Takerei's credibility and asked the jury if she was lying, which the young woman denied.
After Doak left to search for the driver of the car, he returned to Takerei - by this stage surrounded by police officers.
CCTV footage of the incident shows Doak kneeled down beside her with his Taser drawn as she lay on the carpark floor
Takerei claimed the constable then pressed his Taser on her forehead between her eyes.
"What's his f**king name, I swear to God I'll f**king Taser you," she said Doak yelled at her.
The video footage shows Takerei's legs flailing.
"My head got ripped up from the ground," Takerei said.
But she also added she couldn't open her eyes because of the pepper spray.
"I just felt something on my head."
However, other police officers at the scene, including Roberts, told the court they didn't hear Doak threatening Takerei with his Taser or see him pressing it against her forehead.
The jury agreed and found Doak not guilty of the charge relating to those allegations.
Doak was also accused of presenting the Taser and firing the arc mode towards Takerei in the back of a police car as he and Roberts attempted to transport her home.
The arc option triggers the Taser to produce an electrical current between two prongs, a demonstration during the trial from Sergeant Darrin Putt showed.
A recording from the weapon showed the arc mode was activated for a brief moment, the court heard.
Despite this, Takerei was not shocked at any stage by the Taser and offered no evidence during her testimony about the arc incident.
Simmonds argued that while Doak accepted he used the arc mode "for about a second" there was no evidence to suggest he presented the Taser at Takerei.
But the jury found Doak was guilty of the offence.
Takerei was arrested for assaulting Roberts after slamming a car door against the officer's leg, while the wanted driver was later found by police leaving an elevator in the casino.
Superintendent Karyn Malthus, the Auckland City District commander, earlier told the Herald an internal police employment investigation will also be conducted, while the Independent Police Conduct Authority is carrying out its own investigation.