A man convicted of raping a teenager half his age applied for leave to appeal because a jury's verdict was "unreasonable" has had his application dismissed by the country's highest court.

Edward Rawiri Herbert who was convicted of raping a 16-year-old at party in 2017 appealed to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal on the grounds that too much weight had been put on scientific evidence that did not definitively prove he had sex with the victim.

But in a judgment released today, the Supreme Court has dismissed his application on the grounds that the jury took into account all the evidence before them and there had been no miscarriage of justice.

In July 2017, the teenager was at a party and drunk and her friends had put her in a bedroom to sleep it off.


The man entered the room and they were later found with their underwear off and the girl was in a distressed state.

The teen does not remember if they had sex, but the man's semen was found on vaginal swabs taken from the complainant.

The man claimed they were interrupted before they had sex.

The Court of Appeal earlier dismissed the man's appeal based on the fact that the swabs did not prove any direct evidence of penile penetration - needed to prove rape - and that the semen could have arrived there by some other way such as a finger.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal found that the swabs were a powerful piece of circumstantial evidence when combined with other evidence at the trial and had been "squarely before the jury" to decide.

In his latest application, Herbet argued leave should be granted because of the court's approach to scientific evidence which affected the reasonableness of verdicts.

But the Supreme Court sided with the Court of Appeal and found nothing raised by Herbert led to an appearance of a miscarriage of justice and that the jury was entitled to include the scientific evidence to help it settle on a verdict.

"There is no challenge to the principles applicable to unreasonable verdicts," the ruling said.


The application for leave to appeal was dismissed.