22 Sep 2014

No conviction for Queenstown cop

6:26 pm on 22 September 2014

A Queenstown policewoman who racially abused a taxi driver has been discharged without conviction.

Constable Jenny McNee was found guilty of racially abusing driver Ganesh Paramanathan over the cost of a taxi fare last November.

In the Queenstown District Court this afternoon, Judge Tony Couch said Mrs McNee's behaviour was intolerable but to convict her would have implications on her policing career.

He said that would be out of proportion with the gravity of her offending. However, he said her behaviour was insulting.

Ms McNee was on leave without pay at the time, after undergoing an operation. The 17-year veteran of the police service attributed her behaviour to having consumed a combination of alcohol and prescription painkillers.

Her lawyer, Nic Soper, said she could still lose her job as the police were investigating a code of conduct breach.

"That could very well be the case. I would hope that the police would assess the matter using the appropriate context."

Judge Couch ordered she pay the victim reparation of $155 for loss of wages while giving evidence and $300 for emotional harm. She was also ordered to pay Queenstown Taxis $388.18 for the cost of getting footage off the in-car camera and for tee taxi being out of commission for that time.