Judge declares mistrial in rape, burglary case

The trial of a gang member accused of raping a woman to settle a drug debt has been abandoned.

Adrian Justin Waa (33) had denied three sex charges and a count of burglary at the outset of the Dunedin District Court case on Monday.

The Crown case was that the complainant’s partner became embroiled in a gang standover situation through which he began selling methamphetamine.

He was imprisoned in August 2019 and it was alleged Waa visited the man’s partner in the early hours of September 22 and forced himself on her.

While giving evidence yesterday, the complainant’s partner made unexpected comments that compromised the integrity of the trial.

After a brief adjournment, Judge Kevin Phillips told the jurors he was calling a mistrial.

"I do so really, really reluctantly," he said.

The specific reasons cannot be published.

On Monday the complainant told the court she repeatedly declined Waa’s sexual advances but he would not listen.

She told the court she physically struggled but that the defendant was "huge".

Counsel Anne Stevens QC suggested the rape complaint had been manufactured because the woman felt guilty about cheating on her incarcerated partner.

"I have not made this up," the woman said.

Under cross-examination, the complainant admitted during the episode Waa had watched an explicit video on her phone while looking through it for information about a vehicle.

She said she had not told police because she was "embarrassed".

Mrs Stevens suggested the footage had been willingly shown to her client to arouse him.

The witness also acknowledged she went out and bought Waa breakfast while he slept but said it was simply a way to get rid of him from her house.

"I've never felt so scared in all my life," she said.

"I've had to move city. I can't trust anybody any more."

The complainant said she blamed Waa for her boyfriend being in jail.

The complainant’s boyfriend later told the jury he developed a successful business and started using methamphetamine.

"I was getting more work done and making more money, but slowly it just got worse and worse," he said.

He was smoking 0.5g of the class A drug a day and was selling to a few friends, he said.

Waa, a member of the King Cobras, allegedly heard about it.

"He wanted to bill me for selling meth in his city," the witness said.

Waa allegedly stole $3500 of methamphetamine from the man, $300 cash and said he would be back next week to collect $500.

That figure suddenly rose to $20,000 and when he was unable to pay it, Waa gave him drugs to sell, the man said.

"I wasn't really happy about it but there wasn't much I could do about it. He said if I didn't he'd smash me over and take all my stuff."

The man told the jury his savings of $70,000 were bled dry and he was later billed another $20,000 before being locked up.

Answers he gave to questions under cross-examination, however, ended the trial.

Waa was remanded in custody until next month.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

 

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