Policewoman's criminal love affair
An Auckland policewoman became romantically involved with a criminal she met while working as a jailer, a court has been told.
Karis Rewa Charnley, 39, appeared in the North Shore District Court yesterday to defend charges of being party to impersonating a police officer, being party to theft and assault.
The impersonating charge relates to allegations she supplied her police uniform to her boyfriend, Cameron Ross, who used it to steal a red Mitsubishi Evo.
Charnley testified that she exchanged numbers with Ross in October 2011 after meeting him in the corridor of the North Shore District Court where he was waiting to have his 24-hour bail curfew relaxed.
"He was sitting by himself, I felt sorry for him so I said hello," she said.
Six weeks later, Charnley met Ross at the caravan park he was bailed to, where they had sex, but in the coming weeks the relationship started becoming abusive.
She was suspended from the police in mid-December after she was found to have "had an inappropriate relationship with a criminal and his family".
It was alleged Ross used the uniform to impersonate a police officer to steal the car 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Charnley originally faced charges of theft and impersonation but these were withdrawn and the new charges re-laid.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 car belonged to Jerome Kino who had built the car up with his father and had insured it for $11,000.
Charnley had been a sworn police officer for seven-and-a-half years and said she was "horrified" when she realised Ross had used her uniform.
She told the court she was at her home on February 8 when Ross arrived in a Ford Explorer, wearing her uniform. A friend of his, who had driven the stolen Mitsubishi Evo to her home, was wearing her police overalls.
"A lot of things flashed through my head when I saw Cameron get out but I was so scared for my own personal safety and that of my family I knew I couldn't go to police because I was too scared," she told the court.
Charnley told the court she believes the uniform was taken a few hours before when Ross entered the house to collect his washing.
She said she did not call police because she felt she would be "accused" and "wouldn't get a fair outcome".
The uniform was not returned to her and the next time she saw the clothing was the following evening when she visited Ross at Stillwater caravan park - the address he had been bailed to.
"I went to gather [the uniform] up and he saw me and he started hitting me and punching me. He called me a stupid b**** and told me not to touch them," she said.
Charnley said while Ross was "distracted" by a cellphone call, she used the opportunity to stash the uniform and impound book in the bush at the campground and called her son, Matthew.
She told the court she admitted to Matthew the uniform had been stolen and also conceded she confirmed by text that the the car was stolen when her son sent her a text later that evening.
Matthew also gave evidence saying he arrived at the campground where his mother had given him the bag.
"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]."
Charnley admitted she sent a text confirming: "Jerome evo red?"
On February 13, she said she received a call from a "hysterical" Matthew who said Kino and a group of friends had confronted him at his father's house.
"I answered the phone and he was crying and he was hysterical and he was begging me to come to his house because they were threatening to beat him up. And his dad was angry and he was scared and he wanted me to come make it better," she said.
Charnley said she drove straight there and the situation cooled off after she told Kino she would help him find his car.
She denied she stole the car and arranged to meet him at the Halsey Wharf the next day. She said she couldn't guarantee what condition it would be returned to him in.
She said Kino was "aggressive" and in the following days her family were "targeted by boy racers" who pulled up her fence, smashed the windows of her house and "bottled" her father.
Charnley was arrested a day later and the stripped Mitsubishi Evo was found a month later at an address in Paremoremo.
She resigned from the police on May 2.
Judge Brian Cunningham has reserved his decision until November 22.
- © Fairfax NZ News