A woman accused of being involved in an attempt to rob a
young French couple at gunpoint in Napier last year has
walked free after a judge ruled the prosecution lacked
evidence to establish she had been at the scene.
Chardine Lee Andrews, 28, was today discharged by Judge
Jonathan Down following an application by defence counsel
Roger Phillip in Napier District Court, on the second day of
a trial in front of a jury of eight women and four men.
The application was argued at the end of the prosecution
evidence produced by Crown prosecutor Josh Lucas.
Andrews had been arrested at a Hastings address on October 20
last year, the morning after a car registered in her name and
carrying two alleged offenders left the scene of the
late-night attack in a carpark off Whakarire Ave, on the
Westshore side of the entrance to the Napier Inner Harbour.
But the female complainant, 23, was unable to identify
Andrews as being involved.
Her boyfriend, 22, struck during the attack with what
appeared to be a pistol wielded by a female assailant and
which had been pointed at his head, identified Andrews only
as one of three possibilities in a series of photographs of
eight people produced by police during the investigation.
Mr Phillip had argued the facts were the car was at the scene
and Andrews was at the house where the car was located the
next day, but there was nothing else to link her to the
It was also argued her explanation to police had not been
challenged by evidence in the case.
On Monday, Judge Down apologised to both complainants "on
behalf of the community" and added, "we are embarrassed and
- Hawke's Bay Today