Fifteen days ago New Zealand’s Court of appeal released an extremely important reserve decision, although you could be forgiven for not even knowing about the case if you happen to be one of the unfortunates who rely on New Zealand’s MSM for their news. The decision sprang from a civil action that one Vincent Clayton and fellow applicant Linda Westbury have running against the New Zealand Crown, otherwise known as the Solicitor General or the countries government. The defendants in the case are more specifically Crown prosecutors Philippa Currie, Raymond Donelly & Co and the Christchurch Crown Solicitor.
A little background on the crown law players and their nefarious connections
The “Christchurch Crown Solicitor” is of course a euphemism for long serving bent lawyer Brent Stanaway who has held the crown warrant for Christchurch since 1994, in fact working within that system since 1982, his entire 32 year legal career. Stanaway has never stepped beyond the safety of Christchurch law firm Raymond Donelly & Co. In fact on graduation from the University of Canterbury Stanaway immediately walked into a job as a junior with that firm, along with another of his University cohort corrupt police apologist Kristy MacDonald QC. Both cut their teeth in prosecution work with this firm, MacDonald travelling on to become a leading figure in anything dodgy that the governments of the day wanted buried, Stanaway first making his name representing the crown in obtaining a wrongful conviction in the now infamous Peter Ellis case, an innocent man, the victim of an internationally recognised misguided witch hunt. Stanaway and his Raymond Donnelly colleagues saw to it that Ellis rotted behind bars for a decade for a crime that not only did he not commit but that was very likely never committed at all.
Stanaway’s unhealthy relationship with the Christchurch police is the stuff of legend, especially his dealings with the more corrupt officers over the years. His dealings with Ian MacArthur, who has headed up the Christchurch police legal section for the same thirty year period as Stanaway has held the Crown warrant are also notable, MacArthur briefly seconded to head the police legal team at PNHQ for a 12 month period soon after the departure of Dr Andrew Jack to New Zealand Customs and the chief censors job.
Phillipa (Pip) Currie joined Raymond Donnelly & Co in 1994, the same year that Stanaway had managed to grab the crown warrant, following a career in the New Zealand Police force, first as a constable and latterly a detective in both Invercargill and Wellington. Somewhat dangerously both Stanaway and Currie also hold positions with New Zealand’s Law Society, Currie has sat on the Standards Committee since 2005 (despite being fined herself for bad conduct which should have seen her disbarred) and Stanaway is a long time member of the Society’s Disciplinary Tribunal.
Stanaway was also up to his neck in the corruption that was the Gwaze case, and was also heavily involved, behind the scenes, in the Russell Byfield case and in concealing the identities of corrupts cops for over three decades, from Detective Stanley Matthew Wilcox in the 1980’s through to Senior Sergeant Gordon Stanley Meyer, when it became obvious police could no longer hide Stanley’s offending, as recently as last year.
Stanaway’s political connections, in particular to the New Zealand Labour party, Geoffrey Palmer and Lianne Dalziel over the years is also worth noting, starting again in the 1980’s and 1990’s (throughout the Peter Ellis case) and his involvement very much hidden behind the scenes in the police corruption exposed by investigative journalist Ian Wishart.
With this type of pedigree it should then come as no surprise that Stanaway and Currie would one day eventually be caught out. That day it seems may have been the 5th November 2014 when the pairs attempt to thwart a malfeasance tort failed to clear the last hurdle. It’s certainly not the first time Stanaway in particular has been accused of corruption, malfeasence, malpractice and or prosecutorial abuse. LF has a substantial list of allegations against the man dating back to 1984 when he first joined the ranks of New Zealand’s crown lawyers/prosecutors.
The lawyer appointed to oversee a police investigation into illegal spying on Kim Dotcom is also defending police against the internet mogul’s claim to have his hardware returned.
The Green Party, which lodged the original police complaint last year, says Kristy McDonald’s dual roles are a conflict of interest.
In October, Ms McDonald, a QC, was engaged by Police Commissioner Peter Marshall “to provide an overview of this assessment and resultant investigation”.
However, in April she was acting for police and the Crown in a High Court hearing.
This case unlike the many other complaints is however moving inextricably towards a substantive hearing, which is of course very much a first. Back in 2012 LF pointed out that we had taken an interest in the case and would be following it. In our experience Stanaway has been very good in the past at burying not only serioius police corruption but also his own and that of his underlings and legal colleagues. There is no doubt whatsoever that Stanaway’s behaviour has over the years become systemic and in many cases, including the Peter Ellis case, politically or ideologically motivated. Stanaway’s aforementioned cohort Kristy McDonald is very much from the same mold, a product crafted by Canterbury University’s teaching staff, amongst that faculty left wing lecturer, Andrew Alston and Raymond Donnelly & Co’s preceeding managing partners. Alston, now a resident of South Australia, is Adjunct Associate Professor at Flinders University specialising in ethic’s, a reality stranger than fiction.
Where ever there has been a police coverup required, especially one of any major concern, then one is almost certain to find Kristy MacDonald at the forefront, a government apointee purporting independence, industriously working away to bury the evidence and manage the political fallout. One only need look at a handfull of recent contempary police scandals to see her hand at hard work. She’s been so often involved in clearing the air of the stench of corruption that even the New Zealand MSM have taken to calling her the governments “go-to girl” For years McDonald has had a hand in white-washing various IPCA investigations, joined at the hip in that role by crown lawyer turned Auckland coroner Sarn Herdson, who as it turns out was also knee-deep in the Jon Moss scandal;
Govt ‘go-to’ girl rides shotgun on GCSB/Dotcom probe
ROB HOSKING TUESDAY OCTOBER 2, 2012
The lawyer investigating the Government Communications Security Bureau spying on Kim Dotcom already holds a swag of government appointments.
Kristy McDonald QC was today appointed to look into Green co-leader Russel Norman’s complaint to the police that the GCSB had breached the Crimes Act by snooping on Mr Dotcom and an associate, Bram van der Kolk.
Police Commissioner Peter Marshall announced Ms McDonald’s appointment “to provide an overview of this assessment and resultant investigation”.
In short, New Zealand has it’s very own “nexus of evil” , its within the country’s civil service and one does not have to look particularly hard or far to establish the connections that are at its core, every one of these connections capable of being traced back to crown law offices throughout New Zealand.
Ex Labour list MP and well-known defence barrister Russell Fairbrother touched on the fact back in 2005 at a Criminal Bar Association’s dinner at Auckland’s elite Northern Club, Fairbrother aptly describing those assembled in the clubs dining room, including the bent ex-cop turned barrister Tony Bouchier and his equally corrupt wife, the now retired district court Judge Josephine Bouchier, as “middle-class and white barristers” before saying he thought “criminal barristers was an apt description”.
Of course as was to be expected the ex-cop Bouchier ran straight to the media with an over-blown story which was reported the following day by the New Zealand Herald, later syndicated to newspapers throughout the country
Russell Fairbrother knows only too well the level of corruption and wrongdoing that has existed among New Zealand crown prosecutors for decades, as a defence barrister he has encountered it every day of his professional life. For a time, whilst in parliament, Fairbrother was in favour of incorporating aspects of the European inquisitorial system of justice, such was his disdain for the bad habits of New Zealand’s prosecutors who were more than ready to lie, mislead, withhold and manipulate the evidence and presiding judges at trial; it was and is treated as a bloody game by crown law prosecutors.
Fairbrother’s rational was no doubt that competent judges and defense counsel would be better placed to thwart this entrenched behaviour if they were no longer required to accept only that which was been presented by the prosecution and or defense at trial, judges would in fact be encouraged to investigate further themselves, and if necessary source additional evidence before deciding a matter.
“I am very uncomfortable with aspects of the adversarial system for criminal trials in NZ, because it is often a game rather than the pursuit of truth.” – Russell Fairbrother [email (21/11/2007) to Kieth Hunter, author of Trial by trickery (the Scott Watson Case)]
The Vince Clayton Case
For decades now New Zealand has held up the case of Arthur Allan Thomas and his framing for the Crewe murders as some sort of benchmark when it comes to police incompetence and or malfeasance. In fact it’s got to a point were if an observer was interested they would be given to conclude that nothing wrong has ever occurred beyond Detective Bruce Sutton’s now infamous planting of evidence, save perhaps the David Bain case, which is a far more devisive subject amongst Kiwi’s.
But this is of course far from true and frankly the local MSM do their readers a disservice by repeatedly rehashing the Thomas saga, arguably at the expense of more deserving cases, those cases where the victims of police and crown law sculduggery have yet to receive any compensation whatsoever. Of course David Bain is a case in point. There are however many others, but it seems they warrant little if any media attention, perhaps just the odd one-off television feature only to then be immediately dropped.
Amongst those many victims of serious injustice are Allan Hall who was wrongly accused and convicted of murdering Papakura man Arthur Easton in October 1985 and subsequently served eight years and nine months in prison, being released in June 1995
“I struggle to comprehend the reasons why the Crown brought this case to the courts,”…..”It simply cannot be for justice, because justice demands the truth, the whole truth.” – Geoff Hall (Victims Brother)
Despite having been released from prison Allan Halls case was eventually taken up by a local chapter of the Innocence Project in 20o9, researchers having found that among other serious procedural problems, vital exculpatory evidence had been withheld by the prosecution. The New Zealand mainstream media paid little if any attention to this case, dspite years of Campaigning by Hall’s mother Shirley
Then there’s the recent case Auckland man Zion King who spent 16 months in prison before his charge of murdering Chattrice Maihi-Carroll was eventually dismissed. Yet again there were seriously problems with the evidence police and prosecutors relied on
“Police spent an enormous amount of time searching for evidence that would convict Mr King. They tried very deceptive methods to gain incriminating evidence against him but the fact is, they got the wrong man.” – Peter Williams QC (who delayed retirement to take the case)
Then in 2006 17 year old Shane Cribb who was falsely accused and charged with careless driving causing injury, then convicted by corrupt police to conceal the offending of one of their own, police officer Neil Ford, whilst the offending was minor and shan cribbs did no prison time that fact is irrelevant, if police and the crown are prepared to turn a blind eye to such obvious corruption over a relatively minor offence, what lengths are they ready to go to in order to conceal major police cock-ups.
Police corruption is a serious problem with these false convictions, Kiwi’s Jaden Knight and Phillip Johnston, from Lower Hutt, were sentenced to six years in prison for an arson they never committed and were only ever released thanks to the determined efforts of their mothers and stepfathers. Johnston and Knight had like so many others been sent to prison on the back of the corrupted evidence organised by Detective Sergeant Peter Govers, a police officer with a history of serious procedural wrong doing.
“Hearing them coming back saying ‘we find the defendant Johnston guilty was just mind-numbing,” …. “You’re like ‘is this actually really happening’?” – Phillip Johnston (Victim)
The entire list is in fact enormous by international standards, the above examples are just an across the board snapshot of a problem that has been buried for years, a problem that involves both the New Zealand police and the country’s crown prosecution service.
The local media for some reason refusing or unwilling to ask the all important question – why is this happening?
As aforesaid the latest case to be dealt with by the courts has received absolutely no mainstream media attention whatsoever, for some reason its flown straight under the mainstream media’s radar, despite the case having serious legal and civil rights significance and implications – again why?
Below we have included a current affairs programme that featured Mr Clayton and a little background to the case. This programme first aired on New Zealand television screens back in 2012, some 7 years after Clayton’s wrongful conviction.
In fact the only reporting that has been done on this significant appellant court decision has been from those who spend thousands of unpaid hours documenting kiwi injustice and ensuring its availability via their websites. The websites nzjustice.com, www.kiwisfirst.co.nz, and www.nzpca.co.nz like LF have all followed this case to varying degrees, with www.kiwisfirst.com running a piece covering the latest development:
Twisted Prosecution Tests Court of Appeal
……The Court of Appeal judgment overturned High Court Justice Priestley’s strike out (on grounds it was hopeless) of Clayton’s misfeasance in public office cause of action against Christchurch Crown Prosecutor Philippa Currie. At the philippa currie sm same time, the CoA judgment dismissed Currie’s cross appeal for strike out of Clayton’s remaining public law compensation claim against the NZ Attorney General.
Clayton v Currie seeks financial damages against Ms Currie and the Crown for concealing exculpatory evidence in the 2007 conviction of Clayton and his partner Linda Westbury on 34 charges of receiving stolen goods. The plaintiffs seek just over $2 million, including $100,000 in personal assets the Police have never returned…….
But it’s not only raising eyebrows among Kiwi’s who have an interest in justice, it’s a case that has also caught the eye of many international observers, including many in academic legal circles. The only reference to the case other than the aforementioned bloggers and the normal court lists was a piece Published by the New Zealand Law Society, in which, as already noted, both Currie and Stanaway are powerful players.
Whilst searching for the above footage LF came across a YouTube clip with what we needed. But it had something else attached, an introduction of sorts (reproduced verbatim):
Published on May 15, 2013
Daniel Elliott Long is a Police Informer, but Not your typical police informer, His difference is that if it appears that his own position will improve, he will deliver to a court room, jury, and anyone that will listen, a tale of lies, to help the police “prove” their story !!!!…So what could he possible get for his help ??? money ? protection ? relocation ?
YES all of this and more, This man for his story telling received at least 28 charges of burglary of peoples home, custody cleared.. this is when the police approach you in prison and do a deal with the accused saying if you admit to these burgs we will custody clear them, you will never face court on them and we will make our crime figures look fantastic, but there is more…
A judge told this chap at his sentencing, that he was a man who deserved a sentence starting at 10 years…but because of his fantastic assistance to police it would be reduced to a starting point of 6 years with a final sentence of 3&1/2 years.
Now you probely think that’s ok he is just doing deals with police there is no harm in that…but here is the BIG one….
When testifying in the box he was asked about the assistance he gave, not only did he deny it but the Crown prosecutor then re-typed documents to support his statement that he was getting nothing, yet she had the very document in her hands showing he was getting 2&1/2 to 3 years of his prison sentence, So the jury are told he has nothing to gain so why would he be here, he must be telling the truth….. Well fortunately I found the truth, I was a victim of this scumbag, and I was sent to prison for his lies, But I and other showed the truth and are determined to fight this wrong doing……..
Those familiar with the case will be aware that the crown witness who testified against the accused had been given “permanent” name suppression and has only ever been known as “L”. If one is to believe the above extract, that one Daniel Elliot Long is in fact the mysterious witness known to all who have followed the case only as “L” and L, then it would seem that there’s a lot more that crown prosecutor Philippa Currie has yet to explain. On the face of it it would certainly appear that Ms Currie is being accused of corruptly manufacturing documents supporting what seems to us to have been her own perjury, remember she too was once a cop, as the saying goes “old habits die hard”.
As the appeal court noted in court in it’s summary “the defendant must have acted or omitted to act in purported exercise of her public office either intentionally or with reckless indifference” . The courts full decision can be read here. and a related earlier judgement here, justice Priestley’s decision however, the subject of the appeal, is somewhat strangely unavailable, at least online
There is absolutely no doubt, in our minds, on the evidence that we have seen that Crown prosecutors Currie and Stanaway acted intentionally and with malice, this type of corrupt behaviour has always been a distinct hallmark of their particular style of legal practice, with Stanaway every miscarriage of justice from the early days, the Peter Ellis case, to the more recent George Gwaze double jeopardy trial, it’s a distnct style thats stamped all over almost every criminal case the pair and “Raymond Donnelly crown solicitors” have ever prosecuted and as such with malice of forethought.
Now this case is finally heading to a substantive hearing, it will likely hang on whether these two corrupt bastards, in wig and gown, are able to get away with doing it again, this time in the civil jurisdiction, eye’s peeled everyone.
Interstingly in the case of the wrongful convictions against one of Clayton’s fellow accused Peter Lloyd Machirus it was New Zealand High Court Justice Fogarty who saw straight through Philippa Curries criminal sculduggery. Fogarty J is the same High Court Justice that in 2007 also saw the need to overturn the wrongful convictions against another Christchurch man, Mr Russell Byfeild, determining that the police, Sergeant Ron Greatorex and Raymond Donnelly prosecutor Christopher Lang had also misled the court. Of course despite Fogarty stripping down the Crown prosecutor and police, Brent Stanaway, as always true to form, saw to it that they still attempted an appeal.
The judge (Fogarty) said: “When trying to make an arrest, the police officer (Ron Greatorex) was not acting in the execution of his duty. He had no right to be in the drive at the gate in the first place.”
He threw the case out and told police not to attempt a retrial.
“I am satisfied that on the facts of this case there is no possibility of the police obtaining convictions on these charges.”