Police did not act on a complaint of rape by a woman against
her brother for about eight years because the original file
was either lost or misplaced.
The revelation was made in the Whangarei District Court this
week by Detective Sergeant Jonathan Tier, giving evidence
during the trial of the woman's 64-year-old brother who was
facing one charge of rape.
The woman claimed she was raped in their family home in
Northland 49 years ago when she was 13 and her brother 15.
Her brother was found not guilty by a jury after a two-hour
Mr Tier, who's now based at the Dargaville Police Station,
said the original file was created at Christchurch in
December 2002 but it was eight years before any action was
"The original file was never located except one statement she
made in Christchurch in 2002," Mr Tier said.
As far as Mr Tier knew, the original file was lost or
misplaced. Someone further up the chain in police would know
when or why the file could not be found, he said.
The file was first assigned to him by Whangarei police in
February 2011 and the accused was spoken to that November.
In evidence, the accused said 2011 was when he learned for
the first time that his sister did not consent to the sex.
He had no sexual experience before asking her for sex
although their mother had told him about how to make babies.
Crown solicitor Mike Smith asked if he didn't know it was
wrong to do what he did.
When asked whether he knew he'd get into trouble with his
parents if they found out what he did to his sister, the man
said "quite possibly".
Mr Smith then said if the man knew he'd get into trouble for
having sex with his younger sister, he surely would have
known that it was wrong. The accused maintained he didn't
know then that consensual sex between siblings was wrong.
Mr Smith said society had changed but people had not. Sex
between siblings was as wrong in the 1960s or 1970s as it is
Addressing the jury, defence lawyer Wayne McKean said that
although incest was a specific charge covering sexual
relationships between family members, it was not what his
client had been charged with.
It was unacceptable for police to sit on the case for almost
a decade, he said. He urged the jurors to look at the case
through the lens of teenagers as they were 59 years ago when
he said information about sexual matters then was non
- By Imran Ali of the Northern Advocate