Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rotorua police rape culture - part three

Part one is here and part two is here

There are other Rotorua police cases that will be investigated by the Government- announced commission of inquiry. In addition, there are further rape allegations against well-known police officers, convictions, acquittals and even a public police apology. Most, if not all cases, were investigated by police officers who had sex, or were to have sex, with police groupie Louise Nicholas and her friends. One of the people investigated, and convicted for rape was a cousin of a serving Rotorua police officer who has been charged with rape.

Rhonda Herbert-Savage was twice raped by a shopkeeper at her Murupara workplace in 1982 when she was 16. She reported the complaint to Constable Trevor Clayton, who asked the rapist and his wife to come to the police station, in an attempt to deal with the matter quickly.

Herbert-Savage was a childhood friend of Louise Nicholas, and Clayton was a good friend of Louise Nicholas's brother, Peter, and been groomsman at his wedding. Remember, Clayton was also one of the first cops to whom Louise Nicholas first made the complaint about the 1986 gang rape, that nobody has been convicted for. Clayton was Perf'd out of the police in 1989 in dubious fashion.

As the complaint was mishandled, an inquiry was carried out in 1996 by then-detective inspector Graham Bell, who currently hosts a police TV programme. Bell's report damns the handling of her complaint and the police culture in Murupara, part of the Rotorua district. The rapist was a friend of the police, although not a police officer. He was said to be - Bob Schollum's cousin. Schollum's cousin was later jailed for rape of another woman.

The same man who raped Herbert-Savage also sexually offended against three girls.Police failed to properly act on this complaint either. Bell said in the report there was no doubt in his mind the mother reported the sexual abuse of her daughters to then-sergeant Warren Smith in Murupara immediately after she found one of her children in bed with the offender. Remember Smith was alleged to have committed indecencies against Louise Nicholas, but was never charged with offending.

Police Commissioner Rob Robinson formally apologised to the Herbert-Savage in 2000.

Her Auckland Lawyer, Andrew Cook was said to be considering whether the woman can sue for exemplary damages and called for her case to be part of inquiry into police culture.

Judith Garrett, who is currently in her sixties, is also calling for police to re-open a criminal investigation into her complaint that a Kaitaia constable handcuffed and raped her in the town's police station in March 1988.

She made a complaint within 24 hours, and was visited by Segeant Colin Yates, but no statement was taken until July 1988. The offender left the police force that month.

An off-duty officer Timothy Ogle, admitted having sex with Garrett, but said it was consensual. He was dismissed from the police for disgraceful conduct in 1988 but was never convicted of rape because one of his colleagues – who had been drinking with him on the night of the alleged incident – mishandled the initial investigation. "He's been in Australia ever since he was more or less told to go in July 1988.", Garret said of Ogle.

In 1994, Garrett took an unsuccessful private prosecution against the Attorney-General, alleging a police cover-up.

Despite finding that the initial investigation had not been carried out properly, a High Court jury at Whangarei ruled against her on the basis that the investigating officer, Trevor Clayton (yes, him again) had not been motivated by malice.

This case has been given to Helen Clark and was the "final straw" when she considered the Government's response to Louise Nicholas' claim that she was raped by three policemen in Rotorua in 1986.

A woman was also raped by four men in January 1989. All four were sentenced to terms of imprisonment on 5 August 2005. One has since been released as he has been granted a retrial. All further details are suppressed.

Finally it was reported that a 16-year-old schoolgirl on work experience with the police claimed Schollum invited her to go on patrol but then seduced her in a police house in the 1980's. Shipton allegedly walked into the room and said he was going to join in. He allegedly watched them have sex for a while then left.

It's just as well most of these men are no longer police officers. Perhaps they never should have been police officers. However police bosses seem to think this sort of behabiour was fine, as long as you didn't get charged for breaking the law. May police offiers did their level best to ensure that these lawbreakers didn't get charged.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brad Shipton and 2 other Rotorua officers were prosecuted for perjury in 1980. It was a private porosecution as you might imagine because the Police did not want to know. It went through depositions and a Prima Facie case was found but all officers were aquitted at trial. Its was pretty hard to get a jury to convict Police officers..