25 Feb 2019

Police officer facing sex charges changing his account - Crown

7:46 pm on 25 February 2019

A police officer on trial for sex crimes has changed his account and evidence a number of times after hearing evidence in court, the Crown argues.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Detective inspector Kevin Burke, who was mostly based in Ōrewa, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting a woman over 16 and two charges of unlawful sexual connection.

At the High Court in Auckland today, he was accused of lying about having a relationship with one woman, to counter the Crown's claim that he sexually assaulted her in her own home.

Mr Burke spent much of today telling Crown Prosecutor Jo Murdoch that she was wrong, and saying the events she described did not happen at all.

Ms Murdoch claimed Mr Burke turned up to the first complainant's house uninvited one evening, drank beer and sexually assaulted her.

Mr Burke denied this and said the sexual contact was consensual. He said the two actually had a relationship and had met up several times before the night in question, as they'd become friends.

Ms Murdoch pressed him for details on a dinner he claims they had.

"I cannot confirm outright that a dinner did occur before [the alleged assault]. I still stand by 'possibly, probably', but I do know definitely post [the evening the question] there was a dinner."

Ms Murdoch asked him where the other meetings took place.

"Police station, a coffee, and like I said I was unsure about the dinner [before] the 17th," he said.

"Well you're unsure because it's all made up in your head," Ms Murdoch said, which he denied.

Mr Burke said he'd been invited on the night in question to the complainant's house for dinner, and that she told him to bring some drinks for himself, and wine for her.

He said they drank and ate and talked the night away.

"You drank quite a lot then," Ms Murdoch said.

"I can't recall," he said.

"She was concerned about you, wasn't she, that's why she offered you some of the pasta she'd been making when you turned up to the address," Ms Murdoch said.

"As I said previously, this dinner was arranged previously," he said.

"What did she prepare for you?"

"I can't honestly recall," Mr Burke said.

"Yet another detail you can't recall," Ms Murdoch said.

Mr Burke claimed she ended up following him into the spare room that he was meant to stay in. He says she took off her clothes, and got into bed with him. The Crown claims she sent him to bed, and only showed him the spare room.

"And that's the point at which you've grabbed her and pulled her onto the bed, and she ends up on top of you," Ms Murdoch said, which Mr Burke refuted.

"She's pushing you back and saying 'Kevin what are you doing?'"

"That's totally wrong," he said.

The Crown claimed he then sexually assaulted her.

Ms Murdoch said some of the details Mr Burke brought up as evidence in court were taken from the woman's testimony.

"What I'm going to suggest to you is this is another example of a bit of detail that you've now got after hearing evidence in order to make this relationship look consensual," she said.

"That would be incorrect," he said.

Ms Murdoch said Mr Burke appeared to now remember details about the night in question that he never told the police in his initial interview.

"I'm suggesting to you, and you can reject this, that that's yet another example of you changing your evidence and account, after hearing evidence in court," she said.

"That's totally incorrect. I'll think you'll find my account has not changed too much," Mr Burke responded.

The trial continues into its third week, before Justice Sarah Katz.