Cop allegedly involved in car theft on trial

AMY MAAS
Last updated 13:25 11/10/2012

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A suspended policewoman accused of supplying her uniform to a man who allegedly used it to steal a high-performance car is defending herself in court today.

Karis Charnley is arguing against charges of being party to theft, being a party to impersonating a police officer and assault at the North Shore District Court.

It's alleged she supplied her police uniform to a man who used it to impersonate a police officer and seize a Mitsubishi Evo from a Devonport address on February 8, claiming it had been used in a hit and run.

Charnley originally faced charges of theft and impersonation but these were withdrawn and the new charges re-laid.

The owner of the seized car, Jerome Kino, told the court he and his father had built the vehicle and insured it for $11,000.

After the car was taken, Kino used his Facebook account to track the vehicle to a Coatesville property he and eight friends later visited.  

"We were on the Coatesville Riverhead highway - about halfway down - just trying to start my remote and I heard the alarm go off in a garage and saw the lights go off," he said.

Kino said the garage was about 100m down a gravel driveway with five or six cars leading up to it.

He said five people rushed out of the house and got into his car and a blue/grey Nissan Skyline and drove away.

The court heard that after the alleged theft, the accused's son, Matthew Charnley, met his mother at a Stillwater campground where she gave him a large duffle bag and asked him to "burn papers in it".

"She told me that she loves me and she's ****** up and cares about me," he said.

Matthew said he opened the bag to "have a nosey" and saw a yellow impound notice with a friend's car registration number written on it.

He said he texted his mother saying: "U no that wad of paper u told me 2 burn ... wel is that the car u stole cuz if so thats 1 of my best mates [sic]."

She replied: "Jerome evo red."

A day later Matthew met his mother at a Rosedale cafe where he said she was "scared for her life" and swapped cars with him, he said. Matthew drove away in her blue/grey Nissan Skyline.

On February 13, Matthew, who stayed at his father's home in Browns Bay, was confronted by Kino at home around 9pm.

"The atmosphere was tense," he said.

"He asked me what do I know about his car and I said I don't know anything.

"Ten guys came and circled me and they were yelling at me. I told them I don't know anything."

Kino told him he believed Charnley was involved.

Matthew called his mother who arrived around 20 minutes later. The confrontation cooled after Charnley told Kino she would help him find his car.

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The stripped Mitsubishi Evo was found a month later at an address in Paremoremo.

The court will continue to hear evidence against Charnley today.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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