On Wednesday 24th December last week, the day after LF posted a story on the arrest of a man who police alleged had assaulted Inspector Kerry Watson had made the previous Sunday (21st December 2014) evening, the New Zealand Herald reported on the alleged assailants appearance in the District Court at Manukau. There are a couple of things that are noteworthy in the Heralds report and we will come to that soon enough. New Zealand Herald journo Rob Kidd opined:
Man accused of attacking Auckland police officer bailed
1:34 PM Wednesday Dec 24, 2014
By Rob Kidd
A man accused of assaulting a senior police officer after being pulled over in South Auckland has been bailed.
David Hili, 45, appeared in Manukau District Court this morning charged with the aggravated assault of Inspector Kerry Watson, driving while disqualified, escaping custody, threatening behaviour and refusing a blood sample.
It is alleged the Metro Auckland shift commander was repeatedly punched in the face and head after he stopped a vehicle being driven with no headlights in Mangere on Sunday.
Police did not oppose bail and a curfew for Hili, somewhat to the shock of Judge Sharon McAusland.
“I’m surprised he’s on bail but there we are,” she said.
Hili’s festive cheer will be restricted though – his conditions prevent him from drinking, driving or committing violence while on bail.
A police spokeswoman said Inspector Watson was patrolling the suburb late at night when he saw the car.
“He used lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the vehicle over,” she said. “When the vehicle stopped less than 100m away, Inspector Watson was allegedly threatened and attacked by the driver who was the only person in the vehicle.”
A police dog unit was called to the scene to help him arrest the man.
Inspector Watson was treated by medical staff and is recovering at home, where he and his family were being supported by police.
He did not wish to speak about the ordeal.
It was not the first time he had been injured while on duty.
In 2001, Inspector Watson and a colleague were attacked by up to 15 people outside a Dargaville pub when they were called to break up a fight. He was punched to the ground so hard that he partially lost consciousness, while his colleague was dragged down the street and kicked in the pelvis.
The most notable thing about Rob Kidd’s article covering David Hili’s court appearance is the absence of any comment on the chronology, the time it took for Hili to be brought before a court, three whole days. Now whilst the law in New Zealand is perhaps less specific than other jurisdictions when it comes to habeas corpus Section 23 (3), of the New Zealand Bill Of Rights Act 1990 is clear in its intention;
Section 23 of the Bill of Rights Act states that:
1. Everyone who is arrested or who is detained under any enactment:
a. Shall be informed at the time of the arrest or detention of the reason for it; and
b. Shall have the right to counsel and instruct a lawyer without delay and to be informed of that right; and
c. Shall have the right to have the validity of the arrest and detention determined without delay by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the arrest or detention is not lawful.
2. Everyone who is arrested for an offence has the right to be charged promptly or to be released.
3. Everyone who is arrested for an offence and is not released shall be brought as soon as possible before a court or competent tribunal.
4. Everyone who is
a. Arrested; or
b. Detained under any enactment for any offence or suspected offence shall have the right to refrain from making any statement and to be informed of that right.
5. Everyone deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the person.
Interestingly, according to the first New Zealand Herald article, Mr Hili was apparently located with the assistance of police dog handlers and arrested on the night of Sunday the 21st December 2014. If one is also to believe the New Zealand Herald, as aforesaid, that is three whole days before Mr Hili was brought before a court. The first question one then needs to ask is why did it take three days? Surely if Hili had been detained for that length of time then it would have been a flagrant breach of his civil rights under the Bill of Rights, section 23 (3) above.
There would have undoubtedly been a court sitting on the morning of Monday the 22nd December? Besides, whether there was a scheduled sitting of the court on Monday, such matters can always be heard by a duty judge, one is after all on call 24/7 should they be required.
Whilst the Herald Journo Rob Kidd is extremely vague on the detail he does however offer one clue, he uses just one quote from the judge hearing the matter, Sharon McAusland DCJ:
“I’m surprised he’s on bail but there we are,”
Given that Judge McAusland seems to have framed her statement in past tense, it naturally follows then that Mr Hili must have already been on bail at the time he attended the Manukau District court on Wednesday the 24th December.
Moreover the fact that the judge was reportedly “shocked” that Mr Hili had already been bailed should come as no surprise. Clearly the fact that Mr Hili had been released on his own recognizance pending a later court appearance is to say the least extremely unusual given the seriousness of the allegations and events that the police claim occurred and had subsequently earlier organised to be reported to the New Zealand Herald.
Even more so given the serious charges that Hili now appears to be facing. It would not be quite as surprising however under a different set of circumstances, such as if the charges that Hili now faces did not exist at the time of his release from police custody on Sunday the 21st December.
Lets say for argument’s sake that when Hili was released from police custody he had only been charged with one of the offences he now faces, lets say Driving while disqualified, then of course the polices decision to release Mr Hili might have been justified. Perhaps some of the charges that Hili now finds himself facing were police afterthoughts…..the question would then be why was he later charged with more serious offending?
In fact one has to wonder why it was that Police waited so long to notify the media of this alleged serious assault on a senior police officer. It’s also strange that it was the police who provided the Herald journalist with the delightful little distraction, in the story of a completely unrelated 2001 assault on Inspector Kerry Watson, a little reminder of another Herald story that is strangely no longer available online.
It’s little wonder then that Judge McAusland was dumbfounded by the police failure to oppose Hili’s continuing bail, again the million dollar question is of course why? McAusland did query it, or at least she made a point of letting the police prosecutor know that the strange anomaly had not gone unnoticed.
Then there’s the fact that Kerry Watson, himself the senior police communications manager, more often than not himself the interface between police, the media and the public, had not been available for comment, again if one is to believe the police and the media, because he was at home recovering from the injuries he’d sustained, which were made to look all the more serious by the polices use of “where he and his family were being supported by police”
But with that inference in mind there was another Herald article that appeared only a matter of days later:
Bystander tackles violent offender
28th December 2014
Police are grateful for the help of a mystery man who joined Auckland officers in chasing a violent offender before bringing him down in a tackle.
The shoeless bystander was shopping with his family in Mt Roskill on Boxing Day when police began chasing a man they had been seeking over a domestic violence incident.
Police said the good Samaritan saw what was happening, joined the chase, then tackled the offender and took him to the ground.
Police were able to handcuff the suspect and take him into custody without further incident.
When police tried to thank the tackler, he declined the chance for formal recognition and returned to shopping with his family, leaving with a handshake.
Inspector Kerry Watson said the suspect was in custody “due to the selfless action of our good Samaritan”.
“He put himself in harm’s way to get this dangerous man off the street.”
“If he or his family would like to contact us on 09 571 2800, we would like to appropriately acknowledge him. “
A man will appear in court tomorrow charged with kidnapping, assault, wounding and injuring with intent involving three female victims, one of whom suffered a broken jaw.
Obviously inspector Kerry Watson was not as badly injured as the police press release would have liked the public to believe, as he does not seem to be recovering at home 3 days later, on the night of the 27th December 2014, as seen in the above Herald article dated the 28th December 2014.
So was it police who had bailed David Hili, or had he been bailed at an earlier court appearance on the Monday? Was Judge McAusland surprised at the fact that the Police had bailed Hili earlier in the circumstances or was she in fact just being critical of a fellow District Court Judges decision? Reading the New Zealand Heralds article alone who would know.
In fact had Judge McAusland even been made aware of the chronology by the police prosecutor? Whether or not she had been McAusland none the less appears to have smelt the presence of a rather large rat in her courtroom.
Why have two New Zealand Herald journalists been deliberately evasive in reporting this case? Did Mr Hili enter a plea at his appearance on the 24th December? If not then why not, perhaps he intends defending the charges?
Looking at the extremely large holes in the police’s story and the New Zealand Heralds seriously flawed and incohesive account of the events, the fact that (reading between the lines) it was obviously the police themselves who had bailed the mysterious Mr Hili following his arrest on Sunday the 21st December 2014, that his bail was continued given that police did not, much to the surprise of judge McAusland, oppose it.
There are of course other questions that need to be asked of police in the circumstances. Was Inspector Kerry Watson in fact on duty at the time of the ‘100 metre” pursuit, the subsequent assault and arrest? Was he in a marked police vehicle? Was he wearing his police uniform at the time?Was Hili charged by police with ALL of the alleged offences on the same night that he was arrested or was he in fact charged later, following his release from police custody? If not, and he was charged with all offenses on the night, then why, given the seriousness of the charges, was Mr Hili released from police custody at all?
Then there is the issue of one very suspect little paragraph, obviously included in the police’s first media release, sent out on Tuesday the 23rd December 2014 by police spin doctor Kimberley Matthews:
“He used lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the vehicle over,” ……. “When the vehicle stopped less than 100m away, Inspector Watson was allegedly threatened and attacked by the driver who was the only person in the vehicle.” – Kimberly Matthews, NZ Police spin doctor
Ms Matthews effort we thought a rather nonsensical and garbled account? Frankly, this story, in the absence of any real facts and given the very strange way in which the police media section have clearly twisted and distorted the information they have released, is beginning to look very similar indeed to the 2007 case of Russell Byfeild and the corrupt antics of police senior sergeant Ronald Greatorex; a seriously corrupt story of how Christchurch police and sergeant Greatorex falsified an account and police documents, after the fact, so as to frame and charge Russell Byfield with offences that he had not committed, to conceal Sergeant Greatorex’s own criminal offending when he too had pulled Mr Byfields vehicle over.
In that case during the trial police and Senior Sergeant Greatorex falsely claimed pretty much the same thing, that he had pursued Byfield’s vehicle “using flashing red and blue lights and a siren” before it pulled over. In that case Greatorex was not wearing a recognisable police uniform, had not used red and blue flashing lights or a siren, Greatorex lied through his teeth to the court.
So why is it that Kimberly Matthews felt the need to include this very similar and rather pedantic detail in her police press release? How is it that Ms Matthews managed to view an “attempt” to pull a vehicle over as an “attempt” (with all of the words negative inferences) when in fact it seems, by her own account, that the pursued vehicle did pull over within 100 metres of the purported “attempt” on the part of Inspector Kerry Watson commencing. One tenth of a Kilometre, not a great distance we would have thought.
The fact is that police HQ and their legal section know full well that Inspector Kerry Watson’s behaviour has been highly suspect in the past. The police are also no doubt aware of the fact that Watson’s previous antics and the accusations of police corruption against him are all available online.
We’ll say it again, nothing about this case sits right. In fact as we said in our previous post, it has the uniquely peculiar odour of New Zealand police collusion and coverup. The whole truth is obviously not being told here…..WHY?
Never fear LF – the NZ Police never lie so the truth will always prevail ….. Well it’s a good Tui Billboard anyway