15 Feb 2019

Woman thought cop accused of sex assault was a 'hero' at first

7:07 am on 15 February 2019

A second woman accusing a top Northland detective of sexually assaulting her says she initially thought he was a "hero".

Entrance to the High Court in Auckland

Entrance to the High Court in Auckland Photo: justice.govt.nz

Detective inspector Kevin Burke has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault against two women. He is on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

The first complainant, whose name is suppressed, said she met Mr Burke in early January of 2002 to discuss her worries about a man's fraudulent behaviour.

She said he later showed up to her house unannounced to talk about the case, drunk beer and sexually assaulted her.

A second woman accusing Mr Burke of sexual assault, whose name is also suppressed, gave evidence yesterday.

Under examination by the Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch, she said she first met the defendant in early July of 2002, after she had been beaten, strangled and stabbed by her now ex-partner.

"He started stomping on my head and basically dragged me in the house," she said.

Police officers, including Mr Burke, turned up to the house and arrested her former partner.

She said he then turned up several times to talk to her about what happened.

"I thought he was awesome, he was my hero," she said.

"I thought if [the police] didn't come around to the house that day I probably would have died."

The woman said when Mr Burke came over to talk to her about the attack, he seemed like he was on his "lunch break".

On one occasion, a few weeks after the incident with her ex-partner, she said the detective brought over lunch and a bottle of wine for her and her friend.

Her flatmates told her they thought "he had the hots for her".

She thought it was "strange" but that he was just being "really kind and sweet".

She said Mr Burke also texted her at one point calling her "Spice" and asked her how she was doing.

"He began texting me and asked me if he could take me out for dinner and if I could wear a black or red dress.

"He said he would prefer a red dress."

In her opening statement, Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch said it was afterward that Mr Burke sexually assaulted her on three occasions.

The complainant will continue giving evidence.

Mr Burke denies the sexual assault took place.

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