Police officer resigns after assault

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 11:40 22/01/2013

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A police officer who assaulted a woman who accused her of snorting drugs in a rugby club toilet cubicle has resigned from the force.

Hawke's Bay constable Mikayla Paul, 23, was found guilty of assault at a defended hearing last month. She was off-duty and intoxicated at the time of the assault.

A police spokeswoman said Paul had resigned ''recently''.

Victim Lisa O'Connor was in the women's toilets of the Napier Marist Old Boys clubrooms on the night of June 2 when she heard women speaking angrily in the disabled toilet cubicle. They were talking about "smacking someone over the head".

She also heard them snorting something and waited outside the cubicle to confront them. She said they became aggressive, denied snorting drugs and told her that if she said anything to anyone, they would smash her.

Later in the evening, club patrons got on a bus to go to the Thirsty Whale bar in Napier.

Several witnesses gave accounts of an altercation between Paul and Ms O'Connor on the bus, but Judge Josephine Bouchier favoured the evidence of bus driver Willy Walker, because others had been drinking. 
A charge against Paul's friend Alanah White, 22, was dismissed.

Paul's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, applied for a discharge without conviction. The judge will issue her decision in March.

Mr Krebs' application for interim name suppression, opposed by police, was also declined by the judge.

Paul has two previous convictions while in the police force.

In February 2010 she was disqualified from driving after pleading guilty to a charge of careless driving.

In November the same year she was sentenced to 60 hours' community work after pleading guilty to driving outside the limits of a limited licence. Paul has been a police officer since mid-2008.

Contact Marty Sharpe
Hawke's Bay reporter
Email: marty.sharpe@dompost.co.nz

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