'No option' but to remand case

A former Central Otago policeman who admitted making an intimate visual recording of a teenager showering, using a police-issued iPhone, will have to wait until next year for his application for a discharge without conviction to be heard. 

The man, who has continued interim name suppression, was to have been dealt with in the Alexandra District Court yesterday.

However, Judge Kevin Phillips said he had ''no option'' but to remand the matter until January for a restorative justice process to be investigated.

Under the Sentencing Amendment Act 2014, that process applies if an offender appears before sentencing; admits guilt; there is at least one victim; and no restorative justice has previously occurred in relation to the offending.

Defence counsel Nic Soper said he believed that applied if a guilty plea was entered after December 6.

The man admitted the offending, which occurred in Central Otago on October 14, on November 11.

Judge Phillips said the Act applied to all sentencings after December 6.

Mr Soper said he had been approached by the complainant's mother and told Judge Phillips a restorative justice co-ordinator would endeavour to contact the complainant yesterday.

Judge Phillips said it was not appropriate for Mr Soper to have contact with the complainant or her mother, given he acted for the defendant.

Further, Mr Soper was not one of the ''specified people'' under the Act to make a decision about restorative justice.

Regardless, Judge Phillips said he intended to adjourn the matter based on other concerns.

''I would want the victim here to be independently spoken to and a detailed victim statement obtained of her independently . . . I am concerned about it all. She is entirely unrepresented here.''

Prosecutor Craig Power said there had been attempts made by the police in the past week or so for the complainant to be spoken to and for her to see a clinical psychologist in Dunedin.

''It seems she doesn't want to provide one [a detailed victim impact statement].''

Judge Phillips said he intended to ''follow the law''.

''This matter won't be rushed. I do not accept any argument it's just a rubber stamp or there can be immediate inquiries made and answers given [today].

''If restorative justice is appropriate, then it takes place. That's what the law says.''

In November, Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said the iPhone had been placed on auto-record by the defendant and placed on a bathroom shelf, partly hidden. When the victim was drying herself after her shower she noticed the phone.

She replayed the video, realised what the recording was and deleted it.

When spoken to by police the defendant had no comment to make.

He was a first offender and had since resigned from the police.

The incident happened when he was off duty.

The matter was remanded to January 21, with the Crown to seek a detailed victim report to be made available to the sentencing judge.

An order for interim name suppression was continued until that date, when arguments will be heard about final name suppression.

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