Violence, gun allegations denied

A senior Dunedin police officer has denied allegations of domestic violence and unlawful firearm possession.

The high-ranking officer, aged in his 40s, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday, where the suppression order covering his occupation, imposed when he first appeared before Christmas, lapsed.

However, Judge Emma Smith continued name suppression after reading documents outlining the potential impact on the defendant’s family, supplied by defence counsel Anne Stevens QC.

Crown prosecutor Robin Bates did not oppose keeping the man’s identity under wraps.

The defendant, who appeared in the dock dressed in a suit, pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman with whom he was in a family relationship.

He also denied he was in possession of a .22 calibre Ruger semi-automatic rifle without a licence. It is understood the weapon is not prohibited under the new legislation.

The defendant was originally bailed to the home of another senior Dunedin police officer but that was changed yesterday at Mrs Stevens’ request.

The man will now live with his parents.

He will appear again in court next month for a case-review hearing.

Police said the defendant had not been working since charges were laid.

“The officer has been stood down from duties while the matter is before the courts and an employment investigation has been initiated,” a spokeswoman said.