11 Nov 2009

Prostitute cross-examined over criminal convictions

9:09 pm on 11 November 2009

A prostitute at the centre of allegations of police corruption was cross-examined in the High Court on Wednesday about her criminal convictions, including being jailed for fraud.

The Crown says former Christchurch police constable Nathan Connolly coerced the woman into giving him free sex in lieu of writing her traffic tickets.

Mr Connolly faces one charge of bribery and two of coercing a prostitute to have sex with him. He denies the charges and says the woman just did not ask him for payment.

The woman has told the court she was too scared to report Mr Connolly as she had had frightening experiences with police before, through no fault of her own.

Mr Connolly's lawyer Jonathon Eaton on Wednesday listed the woman's convictions since 1995 which included obstructing police and benefit fraud.

He asked her if she was frightened of dealing with the police in those instances. She replied that she wasn't.

When he asked why then she was scared to report anything about Mr Connolly, she said it was a different situation.

Story slanted? - defence

Mr Eaton also asked her if she slanted her story to protect herself.

Under cross-examination, he suggested to the woman she was not unhappy with the free sex arrangement.

He asked her if she had slanted her statement to police because her boyfriend became angry about her allowing Mr Connolly free services and accused her of being an informant.

Mr Eaton then asked her if she would fear for her safety if her boyfriend thought she was a nark, and she agreed she would.