A police officer says he felt pressure to withhold mentioning what he considered "flirting" between a fellow officer and the woman he is accused of raping.

"Just be careful what you say, it's your perception," Northland's Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston told the sergeant.

The sergeant had just given a second formal statement about another police officer accused of indecently assaulting and sexual violating his female workmate at a Kerikeri motel during the early hours of February 5 last year.

The group of officers had been deployed to help police patrol Waitangi Day events at the Treaty Grounds.


The charged cop, who has interim name suppression, has been on trial for the past two weeks in the Auckland District Court.

CCTV footage from the night - played to the court - has revealed lewd behaviour by several cops staying at the motel, including a senior officer exposing himself and a drinking game using a hollowed-out police baton.

During the night, the Crown alleges, a policewoman was also indecently assaulted and later raped by her colleague while she slept.

After the first alleged incident, an indecent assault in a motel room, the accused returned to the beer-drinking group of police officers in the motel's courtyard.

The sergeant told the court today he asked the accused, "you been fishing?"

According to audio from the motel's CCTV, the defendant allegedly replied: "Yeah, but all I got was some seaweed and a gumboot."

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When cross-examined by defence counsel Paul Borich QC, the sergeant said he had noticed the accused and complainant "flirting" with each other earlier in the night.


However, despite the perception, the sergeant was reluctant to later mention it to detectives investigating the allegations, the court heard.

"I didn't see the relevance of it," he explained.

However, Borich narrowed in. He asked the sergeant if he felt any pressure from his superiors, direct or indirect, to mention the flirting.

"Yes, I felt pressure ... indirect pressure," the sergeant said.

"Did you think those interviewing you didn't want to hear that?," Borich continued to probe.

"No, not that they didn't want to hear it," the sergeant replied. "The only pressure I felt was, if you can call it pressure, was at the end of the second statement [when I] made some comments about flirtation. It was my opinion."

The sergeant said Detective Inspector Johnston told him: "Just be careful what you say, it's your perception."

The sergeant was also still worried about his job security, and echoed the employment fears of a constable who was at the motel and gave evidence during the trial last week.

Paul Borich QC is defending the accused police officer. Photo / Doug Sherring
Paul Borich QC is defending the accused police officer. Photo / Doug Sherring

Johnston himself gave evidence this afternoon.

He said he put "no pressure at all" on any witnesses and simply wanted to notify the sergeant that "impressions are subjective and he should be careful".

Johnston also talked about when he first spoke to the accused after the allegations emerged on February 5.

He said the officer smelt of alcohol but did not have slurred speech and was steady on his feet. The accused cop said he wanted to contact a friend of his, who was a lawyer, but was happy to answer questions, Johnston said.

When exploring the accused's cellphone, Johnston added it was unusual that the accused's first action was to start downloading the Snapchat app.

The court has heard the accused and complainant had been communicating on the social media platform.

At 12.53am on the night of the allegations, the accused sent the female officer a Snapchat, but it was never opened. Before she had a chance to he deleted the app and deleted her as a friend - meaning the message also vanished.

Johnston said he asked the accused why he had deleted the app.

"He said he didn't know, it's what he does," the detective told the court.

When asked for further clarification, the accused simply said he didn't know, Johnston said.

Johnston said the accused also uttered: "How the f**k did this happen?"

When speaking of the allegations, Johnston said the accused continued: "They can f**k up your life and they will f**k up my life."

Johnston said he asked the accused cop if the case was a "consent issue".

The accused replied: "Nothing happened at all, you should be able to see that from her, from her room."

However, the charged officer now claims that any sexual conduct which occurred was consensual and a "pre-arranged hook-up".

The accused officer has been stood down from the police and a separate employment investigation will be conducted, Auckland's Detective Superintendent Dave Lynch has said.

Johnston told the court the employment investigations into some of the other officers at the motel have now concluded.

"The conduct of some of the people involved fell well short of expectations," he said.

An application to continue the accused officer's interim name suppression was declined by Judge Evangelos Thomas but the decision has been appealed and suppression will continue until the challenge can be determined.

The trial is expected to conclude this week.