15 Jul 2020

Steven Wallace case: Lawyer tells court contradictory evidence never addressed

3:53 pm on 15 July 2020

A court has been told there were contradictory accounts from officers about what happened the night a man was shot dead by police in Waitara.

Steven Wallace.

Steven Wallace was shot by police in 2000. Photo: Supplied

In April 2000, Steven Wallace was killed by officer Keith Abbott, who was later acquitted of murder after a private prosecution.

Wallace had walked down Waitara's main street using a golf club to smash shop windows, a taxi and then a patrol car with officers inside.

Wallace's family have taken a civil case against police over the death, saying Wallace was deprived of the right to life.

The family's lawyer Graeme Minchin told the High Court in Wellington today there were discrepancies between the officers about what they saw that night that have never been properly looked at.

That includes whether Wallace was seen smashing windows that night, and how far police parked from his vehicle.

"So there's the issue of the contradictory evidence between and the police officers, and we say that is never addressed," Minchin said.

"And what happens here is that basically they just simply take Constable Abbott's version of events."

Earlier this week Crown lawyer Peter Gunn said Abbott feared for his life and Wallace posed a very real danger "of either death or series bodily injury.

The case before Justice Ellis is set down for a week.