Police recruit faces uncertain future

Last updated 12:54 25/03/2009

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A police recruit, who had a rape charge against him thrown out by a court today, faces an uncertain future as police decide whether to keep him on.

In the High Court at Wellington Justice Ronald Young dismissed a charge of rape against Mark James Tulloch, 31.

Justice Young ruled the complainant's evidence was not credible to instruct a jury.

After the charge was dismissed, Mr Tulloch told NZPA he was considering his plans for the future and was waiting to hear the outcome of his employment evaluation by the New Zealand Police.

A police media spokeswoman declined to comment on what future Mr Tulloch faced with the police, saying it was now an employment issue.

Mr Tulloch said the allegation had stained his reputation and would continue to affect his life and work.

"It's a big wake-up call. If you have casual sex and you are a male and a police officer, you are a target," he said.

"I believe that if a guy gets into this situation, if you are not lucky enough to have a good lawyer and a good private investigator, there's a good chance you'll be found guilty."

Tulloch said having to repeatedly explain he didn't do it to friends and family was "absolutely shocking".

His name had not been suppressed and he was suspended from police college after the allegation was made.

He was also suspended from the territorial army.

In court yesterday, defence lawyer Mike Antunovic said the solo mother of three had an extensive history of making false complaints.

They included one against her current partner of assaulting her and molesting her daughter, two other rape complaints and a $14,000 jewellery theft by a former flatmate.

The woman had also previously been committed to hospital for mental illness and had boasted to a flatmate she was going to be "bigger than Louise Nicholas" and would "have the jury eating out of the palm of her hand".

Mr Tulloch and the complainant met on the website www.NZDating.co.nz, moving from chatting online, to cellphone messages, finally having sex at the woman's house.

Mr Tulloch said today he was now looking to police to follow up on the woman's false complaints that turned the last year of his life into hell.

- NZPA

 

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