It all starts with Shipton. He was a 25-year-old detective, she was the Rotorua 16-year-old without School Certificate, whose first job was in a cafe frequented by policemen.
He soon charmed her, when she was serving pies and cakes, or down at the Cobb and Co when she snuck out from her conservative English immigrant mother and snuck in as an underage drinker.
He'd "chat me up", she said. It was easy for him - he'd just say she looked nice. "I thought it was neat."
She was naive. She thought he was her boyfriend. The boyfriend with the wedding ring on sometimes.
She was in love with him.
He'd pick her up in his car.
There was no dinner and no movies, she said - just trips in his car to Sulphur Point on Lake Rotorua for sex. Sex in the back seat of Brad's car.
He was bored. He wanted his mate "Bob" to join in. Shipton would suggest it, implying he thought it was a good idea if she "experimented". But she would say no, she was interested only in him.
She knew Bob Schollum, too, the nice guy with the moustache with grey in it. He bought cigarettes from her work. The nice guy would turn up uninvited and ask her out, saying how he'd been told she was good at head.
Shipton was persistent. Eventually, he would bring Schollum along on their trips. They would grope her in the back of the car - and again she'd say no.
On one occasion Shipton took the tearful teenager home, gave her an apology, and she thought that was that - because she wasn't up for it, she wouldn't see them again.
Shipton never denied any of this in the trial that took place last week. What he did deny was the indecency she said happened afterwards.
Schollum denied it too, but did not deny knowing the woman. The third accused, Clint Rickards, said he had never seen her in his life.
The woman testified that there was a phone call. She went to a house, Shipton was there, Schollum, the guy she knew as "Clint" and two other policemen.
There was "a party scene".
She had some whisky. The house was pretty empty, as if no one lived there.
Shipton soon suggested having sex, and she said, "Not with all these guys around we're not."
She claimed Shipton would say, "She's not going to come willingly," laughing like it was a joke to them.
She was picked up by two men and taken to a room, grabbing at the door frame and trying to bite.
"For such a little thing she's quite a fighter," she claimed they said.
A bed, all made up, in the empty house.
Shipton straddled her, she said. Schollum was on one side and Rickards on the other.
She said it was Shipton who pulled the handcuffs out, Shipton who told someone to get something from the lounge. She did not know who performed the indecency because she could not see past Shipton.
The sign on Brad Shipton's locker at the Rotorua police station read Big Bad Brad. It was the early 1990s and Shipton was quick to befriend a young woman journalist, who saw the sign, when she arrived in town to work at the newspaper.
"Shipton made it his business to get to know me. He took me on a tour of best places to live - Blue Lakes, Tarawera - in his patrol car." Their real-estate tour was cut short by a call to a domestic incident.
"How the other officers smirked when he turned up with me in the car," she recalls. "It was some sort of domestic in an area noted for gang problems. He pointed out the gang HQ, that sort of thing, before going in to help arrest the guy."
The woman, who does not want to be named, recalled Shipton, then a sergeant, as a pretty impressive sort of guy, "built like the proverbial brick shithouse". "He seemed pretty friendly and well-liked. After that first tour he took me out on his Intruder motorbike once, then dropped me back at my place."
They kissed. A week later she heard he was married. "Being a moralistic type I wasn't too impressed about that." Their contact remained professional after that.
A lawyer who associated with Shipton and Schollum in the 1980s remembers both men as "promiscuous", despite being married.
Shipton "generally seemed to constantly be with a different woman," said the lawyer, who had no idea Shipton was married despite the pair socialising.
He thought Sharon Shipton was a blood relative and was shocked to learn she was his wife.
"I thought, 'Bloody hell, he's married?'".
Schollum was somebody who seemed to make it his business to get as much sex from different women as he could, the lawyer said.
"He was one of those guys who'd skite about how he managed to shag this woman last night. He was a shocker."
The lawyer did not agree that the behaviour was part of a prevailing culture at Rotorua police station.
"It might've been the way those guys operated, but it certainly wasn't the way everyone operated in those days."
One person who was at parties in Rotorua involving Shipton, Schollum, Rickards and other police in the early to mid-1980s recalls: "There was a real sense of their power and it was definitely a very sexually charged scene, that much was quite evident.
"It was a very heavy kind of a scene actually, below the surface a bit.
"I remember one instance of [the party host] having to run a young girl home. Some of these women were intimidated by them. We would often say, 'Should we drive them home?' and I can remember [name] advising them on more than one occasion to go home.
"But I did not ever see anything that would be hard evidence. There was always lots of talk about batons and all that sort of stuff. It's like you can see how the court cases have been intensely grey areas."
A detective who worked with Shipton at Rotorua described him as "a good leader and motivator" but questioned whether he had the respect of colleagues.
Shipton and Schollum received a lot of female attention.
"Brad was a good looking guy ... All the girls used to be attracted to him. Bob was the same. Women swarmed to him."
A woman who had an affair with Shipton while he was working at Rotorua said he did not hide the fact that he was married. She found the allegations made by Louise Nicholas and the other Rotorua woman hard to believe, and said that in the several years she knew Shipton he was always pleasant and never violent towards her.
"I had actually said no to him a couple of times and that was okay," the woman said.
In 1985, Louise Nicholas was walking home from her job as a receptionist in Rotorua when Schollum pulled up and offered her a lift. She knew him from her childhood in Murupara where, as a family friend, he took her on long drives. He introduced her to Shipton and Rickards.
In 2004, she alleged that between September 1985 and December 1986 Shipton and Rickards visited her Rotorua flat between six and 12 times for sex she did not consent to - sometimes wearing uniform and sometimes in plain clothes.
On one occasion Schollum took her to a police flat in Rotorua where he, Rickards and Shipton pack-raped her and violated her with a baton, she alleged. They maintained the sex was consensual and, last March, were found not guilty of 20 charges of rape, indecent assault and sexual violation.
Like the earlier Rotorua woman, Nicholas was under 48kg. Shipton and Rickards were big boys.
They'd take turns having sex with her. There was often no conversation, she said, other than maybe a sleazy remark from Shipton who would say "Gee you're looking good", or something similar.
Nicholas' flatmate also testified to having sex with Shipton during his visits at that time. She said it was consensual.
Shipton did not take the witness stand to defend his actions, leaving it to his lawyer to say that the trial was not about a married man having extramarital sex with a young woman. "It's a bunch of people having fun."
While he admitted the sex, he completely denied her claims that he wielded a baton in the "Rutland St incident". He denied the allegation that when she thought it was over, Shipton advanced on her with a wooden police baton in one hand, a jar of Vaseline in the other, a "dirty smirk" on his face. She protested, backed away, spat and swore like a cornered cat - there was no way he was going to use "that thing" on her. But he did, twice, she alleged.
Shipton and the others were acquitted on all charges, including this.
The victim of the Mt Maunganui rape had the misfortune to be attracted to Shipton, the handsome bodybuilding policeman whose beat was the Mount during the summer months of 1988-1989.
Shipton had seen the interest such woman showed in him as an opportunity for sex, not just for him but his mates, and, according to the allegations, was prepared to press ahead despite the women's protests.
The complainant in the Mt Maunganui case told the court of being taken to a surf lifesaving tower by Peter McNamara, a lifesaver and associate of Shipton, under the pretext of taking her to meet Shipton for a lunchtime date.
They rode a quad bike down the beach to the tower, where she saw another quad bike parked. From the top of the stairs she could see a police car parked on the road.
Inside the tower were Shipton and Schollum. There was a lifesaver on the verandah and McNamara followed her inside and shut the door. "At that point I just remember thinking, 'Oh my God.' I just knew that they were not there to set up a date. A mattress was the only thing in the tower.
She recalled "Bob" saying to Shipton, "don't hurt her". She was told to lie on the mattress and she did so because she was petrified and felt she had no choice.
One of the policemen, Shipton, she believes, handcuffed her to a wooden post in the tower. "I was lying on my back with my arms above and behind my head.
"Shipton was doing the talking, saying things like, 'It's okay, we're not going to hurt you'. I panicked and told them, 'No, no I don't want to do this'. A young guy who was on the balcony looked petrified but he stayed there. I felt by his look that he was there under pressure.
"The others had weird looks on their faces ... like a pack of animals looking at raw meat."
Shipton removed her clothes below the waist and pulled her top up. She tried to draw her legs up to cover herself.
"Shipton dropped his pants. He was saying things like, 'Come on baby, I know you like a good fucking'. He was forcibly kissing my neck."
She said she thought there was nothing she could say or do to stop them and was afraid they would hurt her if she screamed. Schollum masturbated through the zip in his police pants while Shipton raped her. Shipton got off and said, 'Here you go man, your turn'.
"I said, 'This is not funny ... please don't.' It didn't make any difference."
While Schollum raped her, Shipton masturbated. At one point Shipton forced his penis into her mouth.
Then Shipton violated her with a police baton.
"I started crying. My whole pelvis hurt." That's when Schollum said to Shipton, "Don't hurt her mate."
She said Shipton was almost frenzied. After he withdrew the baton, Shipton raped her again.
"He called me 'a dirty whore' and said, 'You like this, don't you'?"
McNamara raped her next, followed by another (unidentified) lifesaver.
Shipton then removed the handcuffs and they left her with a fifth lifesaver, aged about 18 or 19 who, although he seemed scared and embarrassed, also raped her.
She went home and showered and returned to work because she didn't know what else to do. She didn't go to the police. Because she had arranged a date with Shipton she thought she might be considered to be in the wrong, and it was her word against the word of policemen.
The next morning Shipton and Schollum turned up at her work and talked to her as thought nothing had happened. "That made me feel pretty damned scared ... I felt they were letting me know that they couldn't be touched."
A day or two later Shipton arrived in a marked police car at the motel where she was staying. She told the jury she thought he was "sussing me out" to gauge whether she was likely to make a complaint.
Very soon after he arrived her telephone rang. She said a female voice said she was ringing from the Mt Maunganui Police Station and asked to speak to "Brad".
The complainant said she believed Shipton had set this up to make it appear as though they were in a relationship.
She said the rape was the reason she left New Zealand - she had been afraid that Shipton would come after her and had been careful not to be listed in the telephone book.
She said she was too afraid to make a complaint until 2004 when, while on holiday in New Zealand, she read an article about Louise Nicholas' allegations.
At the time of the incident she was 20. Shipton was 30, Schollum 36, McNamara 30 and Hales 21.
Further evidence of Shipton's sexual behaviour surfaced following the Nicholas allegations. He had been involved in a police investigation into a family tragedy suffered by a Rotorua woman.
She said she agreed to group sex with police officers in the mid-80s but now believed they had abused a position of trust.
"I was vulnerable and really upset at the time and they preyed on that emotion and that is what got me into that situation," she said.
Shipton has also been accused of "keeping track of his liabilities". That was how the Crown explained why the Rotorua complainant's name and number were in his police notebook from a couple of years later. They were inferring that he would keep track of any problems that could arise.
Shipton was 18 and working as a lineman for the Electricity Board when he married Sharon Cavanagh, who was four years older.
Sharon, like Caron Schollum and Clint Rickards' partner Tania Eden, has staunchly stood by her man during their trials.
They have heard their husbands acknowledge infidelity, of being involved in group sex sessions together, with young women. They have listened to allegations of rape and depravity.
In the case of Shipton and Schollum, the wives maintain their husbands' innocence despite convictions for kidnapping and raping a woman in Mt Maunganui in 1989.
"What he did previously is not up to us at all," said Howard Russell, Caron Schollum's father, in response to his son-in-law's sexual behaviour in the 1980s.
Caron, 35, has been married to Schollum for 10 years. They have two children, although Schollum has other children from his first marriage.
Caron was "only just starting high school when it all happened", Russell said. "They're more in love than ever." An uncle of Sharon told the Weekend Herald: "[Shipton]'s always given me the impression of being very arrogant, [that] he can do things and get away with it."
Yesterday, Sharon Shipton did not want to comment on her marriage. It is understood the Shiptons have a teenage daughter.
In the past two weeks, the Ministry of Justice project leader was not quizzed on her husband's infidelities, just on the alibi she was giving him that they were on holiday during some of the time it could have happened.
"He's grown in every direction," she said of his size, boosted first by bodybuilding then by middle-aged spread.
As she was slowly taken apart on the witness stand, Shipton lost his swagger. She was accused of letting him influence her testimony from prison.
When the alibi they gave them was painted as a lie, and Sharon howled at the news her cousin would not back them up, Shipton cried. He shuddered and cried.
The next morning, once the jury were led out for morning tea, Mrs Shipton was not in the front row to greet her husband as he was led to the cells. She stood further back, looking solemn with her dark-ringed eyes, and only acknowledged him when he called out "Sharon".
They shook hands.
But by lunch, she was ready for a hug again. He grabbed her and whispered in her ear. And by the verdicts, she was ecstatic for him. It was the right thing for their family, she said. Of course they were still together and why would you think otherwise, she said.
Until asked about the verdicts in the Mt Manganui case. That's when Sharon Shipton walked away.
Crown Prosecutor Brent Stanaway described his dismantling of Mrs Shipton as "rather sad". She was, Mr Stanaway said, a victim in all this too.
Asked about his brother's morals after admitting affairs during his marriage, Greg Shipton said: "While we don't condone that sort of behaviour, what you are talking about is he is getting judged on his moral behaviour now, not 25 years ago. Twenty-five years ago there was no Aids.
"People were a lot different in their behaviours, yet you know he is getting judged on today's, where there are Aids, where that sort of thing is frowned upon and I don't know whether that sort of thing is totally fair."
Rickards' lawyer John Haigh swatted away questions about his clients' involvement in group sex by saying "half of New Zealand has done it".
Dr Nicola Gavey, an associate professor of psychology at Auckland University with specialist research in rape and sexual coercion, finds talk of group sex culture in connection to the cases "bizarre".
"No one really knows what people are doing privately in their sexual lives, but I think if there is such so-called group sex going on, and it's truly consensual, it's not very likely to be happening among a group of policemen who are much older, with a teenage girl."
The psychology expert's observations of Shipton?
"I think he's clearly demonstrated that his sexual ethics are sorely lacking. Just looking at the pattern, and if you believe the complainants' accounts, it would seem he's quite misogynistic.
"It's interesting the intersection between ethics and the justice system and criminality. It's all very well for these men and their supporters to be cheering at the verdict from this trial ... [but] one thing that is clear is their ethics and the morality of their behaviour, and we need to stand up and judge that and say 'this is not acceptable behaviour'."
Gavey says the defence of consensual sex was implausible and "doesn't ring true".
"Given that at least three women have come forward and put themselves on the stand in a rape trial, to say that they were not consenting speaks volumes to me.
"To me it sounds like a group of men acting to support each other in gross serial exploitation of women.
"What may have started as consensual sexual relationships seem to have been quickly manipulated into exploitative, and if we can believe the accounts of the complainants, which I do, abusive acts of sexual violence."
Dr Jan Jordan, a criminologist at Victoria University, does not believe the trials put enough emphasis on the power imbalance that existed.
"Nor was the emphasis really drawn out of that power differential between them - as physically huge, dominant male, older police officers in positions of authority - versus 16 and 17-year-olds, sometimes from quite troubled backgrounds with troubles of their own.
"There was an inherent power imbalance there right from the start and I think far more could have been made of that in the court."
After leaving the police in 1998, Shipton turned private investigator, starting Focus Private Security, a firm he still owns with Sharon.
During an interview with the Bay of Plenty Times, Shipton laughingly recalled that his first case was following someone's wife suspected of having an affair.
His business interests extended to the hospitality industry, where he had investments in several Tauranga bars. The Bahama Hut bar is regarded locally as a popular but seedy watering hole.
"It was interesting that it was a guy who was an ex-cop, but there seemed to be plenty of trouble in the place," said an acquaintance of Shipton. "It didn't have a great reputation."
Negative publicity followed Shipton during his stint as a councillor and pub owner. He set the worst record for attendance, missing 20 per cent of meetings in six months.
Shipton was already the focus of the rape allegations made by Louise Nicholas but said they had done little to distract him from his council duties.
He told the paper: "It is a load of rubbish and I am getting on with life but it will probably get much worse before it gets better."
In 2004 he was charged with possessing a pistol without a licence. The gun was found wrapped in newspaper in a plastic bag in the rafters of his garage.
Controversy was never far away. As a councillor, Shipton was forced to defend his decision to hold dwarf-curling competitions at one of his pubs, Mount Mellick. He said the competitions were "just good fun".
The "leprechaun curling" competition involved punters propelling a dwarf, covered in vegetable oil, along a 6m polythene sheet. "Has everyone lost their sense of humour?" Shipton said at the time. "It's really popular. If I felt in any way that he (the dwarf) was uncomfortable, I wouldn't let him do it.
"We do things for the entertainment of people, and people want and enjoy it."
Schollum retired from the police in the late 1990s and worked as a car salesman in Hawkes Bay before his arrest on the historic allegations.
The bonds between Shipton, Schollum and Rickards appear to remain strong.
When acquitted of the Louise Nicholas allegations, Shipton slipped his arm around Schollum's waist as the older man started to cry.
During the Rotorua trials, Shipton and Schollum sat shoulder to shoulder and exchanged notes. Rickards physically distanced himself from the pair.
But, following his acquittal on Thursday, Rickards publicly declared his support for his imprisoned former police colleagues: "Brad Shipton is a good friend. Bob Schollum is a good friend. They are still good friends of mine and always will be."
- Additional reporting Juliet Rowan