7 Nov 2017

Kidnap case: Family, police discussed giving teen a 'rev-up'

8:24 pm on 7 November 2017

The mother of a 17-year-old reported her own son to the police for having sex with a teenager, a court has been told.

Hurimoana Dennis outside the Auckland district court where he appeared on kidnapping charges.

Hurimoana Dennis. Photo: RNZ / Edward Gay

Inspector Hurimoana Dennis and Sergeant Vaughan Perry have denied charges of kidnapping a teenager, in what has been described as a mock arrest.

Detective Sergeant Neil Hilton, who is in charge of he police's child protection unity, said he took part in a meeting with the teenager's family and senior police officers, including Mr Dennis.

"I made it pretty clear that I didn't think it was the best outcome to their situation.

"I talked about previous incidents ... previous prosecutions that I had undertaken where we had prosecuted people for under-age sex. In [that] particular case, the age gap was significantly greater - it was 20-odd years and even that had caused huge amounts of break-up within the family unit."

Mr Hilton said at the end of the meeting the family agreed charging the 17 year old with rape was not the answer but they did want to break the relationship up.

He was asked by Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey what his view was.

"I was reluctant to, to go down that path. It would have been difficult, it would've been quite intrusive and I didn't see, given the age difference between the two of them, that there was a great deal of public interest in pursuing the matter aggressively at that point."

The group also discussed the possibility of Mr Hilton meeting with the teenager.

"I'd give him a bit of a rev-up - for lack of a better word - and part of that would be showing him the cells to give him a concept of where he could be heading."

Child Youth and Family were called in to talk to the 15-year-old girl who denied there was a sexual relationship.

Eventually, Mr Hilton met with the 17-year-old who also told them there was no sex and he would re-connect with his family.

He believed the young man was about to make changes in his life, including moving out of his girlfriend's house.

The detective sent a positive update to Inspector Dennis and his mother.

But the teenager's mother was still unhappy with her son's relationship and his living arrangement.

She also tried to lay a complaint against the 15-year-old girl's mother, asking police to arrest her and stop her son from staying at her house.

The detective arranged to meet with the young man again but when the teenager didn't turn up on time, he had to leave for his next appointment.

He arranged for Inspector Dennis to meet the teenager and arrange for a meeting with his grandfather at the station.

The Crown argues Mr Dennis went much further, faking an arrest of the young man and introducing him to the custody sergeant.

He was made to believe that he had been arrested and his details entered into the police system before being taken to a cell.

Jurors visit cell

Today the jurors visited the cells in the basement of the Auckland Central Police Station.

They have since been decommissioned but until recently, prisoners were led through a number of security doors, including cast iron Victorian-like gates.

Signs alert officers that firearms and tasers are not permitted in the area and security cameras watch every movement.

The teenager was put in cell number eight - roughly 3m x 3m. There was nothing to sit on and no toilet in the cell - just the tile floor and four walls.