Detective Inspector Mark Gutry on up to 20 occasions looked
at the police file of a sex worker he was visiting. Photo /
A high-profile Auckland police officer faces an
employment investigation after he repeatedly accessed the
national computer profile of a woman he was sleeping with.
A sexual violation complaint was made against Detective
Inspector Mark Gutry last July which launched a wide-ranging
The complaint was made by an Auckland prostitute who Mr Gutry
had visited a number of times as a paying client.
Mr Gutry, who has headed numerous high-profile
investigations, was suspended from his role as field crime
manager for the Counties Manukau police district while
detectives from Wellington handled the case.
The evidence from the nine-month inquiry was reviewed by the
Crown Solicitor of Wellington before a decision was made this
week to not pursue a criminal prosecution against Mr Gutry,
who is married with children.
But there is no guarantee that the 48-year-old will return to
his role as one of the most senior detectives in the region.
Mr Gutry faces an internal disciplinary inquiry which centres
on why he looked at the woman's file on the police computer
system, known as the National Intelligence Application (NIA),
up to 20 times over two years. Unauthorised access to NIA has
led to serious misconduct or criminal charges in the past.
The code of conduct process will also investigate whether the
sexual relationship took place in work hours, which would
breach police rules.
Mr Gutry's lawyer, Todd Simmonds, said the decision not to
lay charges "is the clearest possible indication that the
allegations made against Detective Inspector Mark Gutry had
"Detective Inspector Mark Gutry is obviously pleased with the
outcome of the criminal investigation and his intention at
this point in time is to return to police duties as soon as
The criminal investigation was launched when the woman wrote
to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall last July after seeking
help from Shannon Parker, who runs a police watchdog website.
The complainant could not be reached for comment yesterday,
but Ms Parker said she had spoken to the woman, who was
relieved the police had made a decision.
"She did the right thing coming forward and it took a lot of
Despite no criminal charges being laid, Ms Parker said
several matters relating to Mr Gutry's conduct have been
identified, one of which was accessing the police computer
system for personal use.
The complainant has previously told the Herald she waited
three years to lay a complaint because she was a solo mother
who felt "powerless" to speak up against a senior police
She hoped his access to her file on the national police
computer would be taken seriously. "He's looked me up 20
times in two years ... I'd love to know the reasons for
The complainant also supplied relevant parts of her diary to
investigators, in which she noted down registration plates of
She was supported throughout the nine-month inquiry by Louise
Nicholas, whose evidence launched a Commission of Inquiry
into police sexual conduct, and is now an advocate for sexual
Mr Gutry is an experienced and popular officer who was
described by one source as the "right-hand man" for Counties
Manukau district commander Superintendent John Tims.
Mr Tims said the allegations of inappropriate behaviour were
treated very seriously but there was insufficient evidence to
initiate criminal proceedings.
"We rightly expect high standards of behaviour from our staff
and we have robust processes in place to deal with such
"We have looked at this complaint thoroughly from a criminal
perspective and will now consider it under the Code of
"We are also working closely with the complainant to keep
Mr Gutry remains suspended.
• Detective Inspector Mark Gutry is a senior officer in the
Counties Manukau police district. Some cases he has been
• 2000 Dr Chris Simpson found guilty of the manslaughter of
his elderly mother Marjorie who was terminally ill.
• 2005 Chinese woman Qing Zhao kidnapped from her Auckland
home and held for $1 million ransom. Three men jailed for 10
• 2010 Constable Jeremy Snow gunned down while on duty.
Neshanderan Rajgopaul convicted of attempted murder.
• 2010 Super City candidate Daljit Singh arrested and later
convicted for electoral fraud.
• 2012 Rae Portman kidnapped and murdered by Paraire Te Awa.
- Jared Savage, NZ Herald