The Truth, 1984
Cops guilty of accessing Wanganui computer records
By Russell Anderson
Cops can use top security Wanganui Computer to help themselves fight a private prosecution says a top policeman.
In some circumstances says it is alright for cops to pass on conviction lists from the computer to civilians.
Christchurch acting boss Chief Superintendent John Jamieson says it is sometimes “quite proper” for a policeman to pass on computer conviction lists.
And Mr Jamieson says he will not make any inquiries to find out if a policeman facing two private prosecutions did in fact obtain the conviction list of a person called to give evidence against him. Or if the policeman passed on the conviction list to his lawyer.
The policeman could not be contacted for comment. And his lawyer, Mr Nigel Hampton, when asked by The Truth how he knew a witness had certain convictions said: “I’m in no position to answer that question”
Asked if he obtained the conviction information from his police constable client, from another police source or the Wanganui computer, Mr Hampton repeated that he was in no position to answer: “I am not going to comment on this issue at all” Mr Hampton said. And “I don’t see anything wrong with it”, Chief Inspector Jamieson said.
But young Christchurch businessman XXXXXXX XXXXXXX has other ideas. He says it’s totally improper and should not be allowed.
Mr XXXXXXXX – who with his brother XXXXXX runs a company called New Zealand Tenancy Bonds Limited – was a witness in two recent private prosecutions against a Christchurch policeman.
A 33 year old policeman – whose name was suppressed by Judge Fergus Paterson – was charged with assaulting XXXXX XXXXX and with addressing indecent words to Mr XXXXXXXX.
[Laudafinem is not subject to New Zealand jurisdiction or law, we will therefore name Stanley Matthew Willcox as the officer with name suppression, a very bent and violent cop that was ultimately pushed out of the NZ Police force and who by all accounts is now an English teacher at Christs College, Christchurch New Zealand]
Mr XXXXXXXXX and Mr XXXXXXXXXXX gave evidence against the policeman at the hearing of the charges which were initiated by Mr XXXXXXX.
The policeman and his partner Constable McNaughton gave evidence in defence of the allegations. A central issue of the case was the credibility of all four witnesses. The Judge found that the un-named constable did assault Mr XXXXXX by pushing him in the chest, but dismissed the charge. He also dismissed the charge of using indecent words.
During the hearing the witness Mr XXXXXXXX was cross examined at length by the policeman’s lawyer Mr Hampton.
Mr Hampton said to Mr XXXXXXXX “you have convictions haven’t you” “You have convictions for theft, burglary and wilful damage have’t you?” Mr Hampton said.
Mr XXXXXXXXXX confirmed that he had, but said that the matters had occurred several years earlier, when he was still quite young, and that he had not been in trouble since then.
After the case was over Mr XXXXXX told Truth that he was extremely upset that Mr Hampton had raked up his youthful indiscretions: “they happened when I was about 13 or 14 years old and it was a Childrens Court matter”, Mr XXXXXXX said.
“I don’t know how Mr Hampton found out about them”. “this slur has affected my business” Mr XXXXXXX said.
Truth asked Chief Inspector Jamieson if Mr Hampton could have obtained, by himself, any information on Mr XXXXXXXX stored in the Wanganui computer. “He could not. It’s like a person wanting to find out if his neighbour has convictions”. You can’t do it” said Mr Jamieson.
Mr Jamieson said there were some circumstances where a policeman who had access to conviction lists from the computer could divulge them to a civilian.
“It must be authorised. If it was strictly in the line of his duty it is posible that he could disclose information” Asked how the lawyer defending the policeman got access to the witness conviction list, Mr Jamieson said: “I wouldn’t know you would have to ask the lawyer”
Mr Jamieson said he did not know of “anything improper” about a lawyer getting a conviction list either from his policeman client; or from some other police source.
“I don’t know of anything improper that has been done in relation to that case” said Mr Jamieson “It’s likely the constable obtained the persons conviction list quite properly at the time this incident began because there was some thought of charging someone long before their was a private prosecution laid against the constable”.
I assume that the constable would have known about the witnesses convictions and he would hardley have dismissed them from his mind when he was charged in court if it was in his interests that the information be made known to the court”.
Lauda Finem will be producing an in depth analysis of this very early newspaper article and the events that followed it. In the meantime, however, take a look at a recently released document detailing a telephone call made by the very bent Stanley Matthew Willcox three years later. While you’re at it why not listen to a taped telephone call that the vilified brother received from Stanley Matthew Willcox almost four years after the prosecution of officer Willcox for assault – remember Willcox had committed the assault but was given a section 42 discharge. Stay tuned!