13 Feb 2019

Sexual contact was consensual and top cop was invited to home - lawyer

6:53 pm on 13 February 2019

The lawyer for a top Northland police officer accused of sexual assault says it was consensual and the woman invited him to her house.

Entrance to the High Court in Auckland

The High Court in Auckland Photo: justice.govt.nz

Detective Inspector Kevin Burke is on trial at the High Court in Auckland after two women accused him of abusing their trust and sexually taking advantage of them.

Mr Burke has pleaded not guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting a woman over 16, and two of unlawful sexual connection.

The first complainant, whose name and voice are suppressed, said she met with Mr Burke in 2002 to discuss her worries about a man's fraudulent behaviour.

He later showed up to her house unannounced to talk about the case, drank beer and sexually assaulted her, she said.

The woman said she had no contact with the officer before he turned up to her house.

But under cross examination by the defence, Arthur Fairley, put it to her that she was the one to invite the officer over.

"I'm putting to you what happened is this ... you and he were there into the very late hours of the evening talking as a man and a woman," he said.

"What happens is he's in his bedroom, you come to the door and you are dressed in clothes, which you take off."

The complainant denied that consensual sexual activity took place.

Mr Fairley asked her why she did not tell Mr Burke to leave.

"You're a strong-minded woman, why didn't you just tell him to go," he said.

"Why didn't you just send him away if he was uninvited?"

She replied that he was a police officer.

"We trust the police, don't we?" she said.

Another point of contention was whether the woman had a mobile phone at the time for Mr Burke to contact her on and whether she had coffee with him before he showed up to her house.

Mr Fairley said Mr Burke's records showed that he had noted down her cell phone number.

But in a police interview with the complainant she said she did not have a mobile and she did not drink coffee back in 2002.

"You were trying to remove the possibility that Mr Burke could have texted or called you because you didn't have a mobile," Mr Fairley said.

"You were trying to make out to the detective that you didn't go out to coffee or tea because you were too busy."

The answers from the complainant became heated at times and she questioned the relevance of Mr Fairley's questions.

At one point, Justice Katz had to step in and ask the complainant to cooperate with the defence lawyer.

"The simplest thing is to just answer the question," she said.

"Don't try and anticipate what it's about."

The cross examination of the woman will continue tomorrow.