A District Court judge has awarded substantial costs to three
Queenstown women discharged for their roles in a kidnapping
Judge Phil Moran has ordered the Crown pay Charlotte Dickson
and Brooke Carpenter half of defence costs - with Dickson
awarded $30,000 and Carpenter $15,000. The third woman,
Rachel Faul, gets $20,000, a third of her bill.
Judge Moran strongly criticised the Crown's conduct against
the women in the case relating to the kidnapping and beating
of Jason Scott Maynard on Crown Range Rd in November 2011.
Four men were sentenced to jail, home detention or community
work for it. Faul, Dickson and Carpenter were charged with
intent to commit theft violently, rendering Maynard incapable
Faul and Carpenter also faced kidnap charges. The judge notes
he discharged all three on charges of theft by violent means
and Carpenter of kidnapping.
At a trial, a jury acquitted Faul of kidnapping.
Judge Moran notes the Crown ''endeavoured to recover
something from the wreckage of its case by seeking leave to
amend the indictment by adding a charge of assault against
the three defendants in place of the scuppered [theft by
violent means charge]''.
That application was refused last April by Judge B. P.
Callaghan, Judge Moran says, adding: ''Indeed, it'd appear he
regarded the Crown's conduct as an abuse of process. I
As ''secondary parties'' to a criminal enterprise, the three
women all deserved to be charged, Judge Moran says. How-ever,
he says they were not ''appropriately'' charged.
Theft by violent means charges were, he says, misconceived
''because the essential element of intent to commit the crime
of theft could never be established''.
Judge Moran added they were also excessive because they
carried a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment.
''The Crown pursued this fatally flawed charge with dogged
determination in the face of compelling arguments by all
defence counsel it couldn't succeed.''
The Crown's ''last ditch attempt to retrieve something'' by
amending the charge was ''abuse of process''.
''Consequently, the legal costs incurred by the defendants
were much greater than would have been the case had they been
appropriately charged in the first place.''
The judge explained Faul's central role meant the costs he
awarded her are less in percentage terms than for Dickson and
However, he adds: ''All of them, to a degree, brought the
prosecution upon themselves, none more so than Ms Faul, who
set up the rendezvous with Mr Maynard.''