Tears flow as top cop found guilty

Last updated 00:00 09/08/2007
RELIEF: An emotional Louise Nicholas, with husband Ross, outside the court after former top cop John Dewar was found guilty of charges relating to his handling of her historic sex allegations.
VERDICT IN: A jury has found former top cop John Dewar guilty of four charges of attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice in his handling of historic sex allegations.

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Tears fell and cries rang out in the High Court at Hamilton after a jury found former top Rotorua cop John Dewar guilty of four charges of attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice in his handling of historic sex allegations.
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At last, Louise Nicholas gets a guilty verdict - four of them

Dewar, 55 self-employed father of four of Hamilton, denied all the charges in the High Court at Hamilton.

The prosecution alleged that when he was chief inspector of the Rotorua CIB in 1993, Dewar covered up sex allegations Louise Nicholas made against police officers Clint Rickards, Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum.

He also deliberately gave inadmissible evidence at the trial of a former policeman accused of having unlawful sex and indecently assaulting Louise Nicholas when she was aged 13, leading to two mistrials before a third trial acquittal.

Outside the court after the verdict was delivered, an emotional Mrs Nicholas thanked the public of New Zealand for their support and the policemen involved in Operation Austin for restoring her faith in the police.

Mrs Nicholas said the outcome of the case had brought her some relief.

"I would like to thank Operation Austin, these are decent police officers."

"They have done their duty and they have restored the faith and trust that I had lost a long time ago in New Zealand police."

Earlier, as the four guilty verdicts were read out, Dewar's wife Louise burst into loud sobs and cried out "no".

Also in the gallery was the woman who had given evidence that she had group sex with Brad Shipton and Dewar. The woman, who has name suppression, along with supporters of Mrs Nicholas, broke down in tears as the verdicts were read out.

Dewar showed no emotion as the verdicts were delivered.

Earlier Justice Rodney Hansen told the jury the case was not about what Mr Rickards, Shipton and Schollum did or might have done.

"It is not about whether Louise Nicholas was sexually abused or violated by them or anyone else.

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"It is about what John Dewar did after he took over the investigation."

Dewar and his wife left the court without comment.

He has been remanded on bail until September 26 for sentencing.

Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway and defence counsel Paul Mabey QC both declined to comment.

- NZPA with Stuff.co.nz

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