Second complaint laid against police in Jo Pert murder case

Murder victim Jo Pert.
SUPPLIED

Murder victim Jo Pert.

Pressure is mounting on police as a second complaint has been laid about their handling of Jo Pert's killer. 

An ex-police officer who knew Pert has laid a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority about the actions of police officers who let Pert's killer go free hours before her death, although he was armed with a knife and stalking a couple with the intent to kill them. 

A family member of the dead mum has already laid a complaint about the same issue.

Tevita Mafi Filo, 25, appears in the Auckland High Court charged with the murder of Joanne Pert
DAVID WHITE

Tevita Mafi Filo, 25, appears in the Auckland High Court charged with the murder of Joanne Pert

The man who laid the new complainant, who asked not to be named, said he didn't want to see anyone get in trouble but believed the police officers who spoke with Tevita Mafi Filo before he went on to kill Pert made a mistake in not taking him into custody. 

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Pert was stabbed to death by Filo as she jogged through Remuera in January this year.

The night before her death, a couple contacted police to complain that Filo was following them in his car. He had pursued them for 10km in his car, despite the couple making u-turns to try to shake him. They were terrified and rang police.

Police officers who responded and pulled Filo over found him with a knife. They confiscated the knife but didn't arrest him and let him go. 

Nine hours later he fatally stabbed Pert.

"I don't want to get anyone into trouble but I keep thinking about the lack of action on that night," the complainant said. "I thought, am I going mad here?" 

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He sounded out the opinions of other ex-officers, who agreed police should have taken stronger action against Filo when he was stopped and found to be armed. 

"All the ingredients were there for a number of offences - he was aggressively stalking this couple. I'm sorry, but lock that guy up - that guy should get arrested. All the alarm bells should be ringing. If there's enough concern to seize the knife, then what's going on?" 

Filo told the two officers who stopped him that night that he was lost and had the knife for protection. 

The next day, after he handed himself in for the murder of Pert, he told detectives he intended to kill the couple he had stalked. 

Filo was later charged with a string of offences committed in the lead up and aftermath of Pert's murder, including being on property unlawfully, preparing to commit an offence in public, and indecent assault. 

The Crown ultimately withdrew most of the charges except for the murder and two indecent assaults.

He was found not guilty by reason of insanity of those offences by Justice Murray Gilbert earlier this month. 

Psychiatrists told Justice Gilbert that Filo was a schizophrenic who believed he lived in a virtual world and that in order to get back to the 'real' world, he had to kill somebody. 

He didn't believe Pert was a real person, Justice Gilbert was told. 

Filo is now a patient at the Mason Clinic. 

The IPCA is considering its next course of action regarding the complaints. 

It can start its own investigation, refer the complaints back to the police for their own inquiry, or do nothing. 

 - Stuff

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