Queenstown constable charged

Last updated 14:54 03/03/2014

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Queenstown constable Jenny McNee has been charged with offensive language following an internal police investigation but the complainant is disappointed she does not face a charge of assault also.

Acting Otago rural area commander Andrew Burns said the 43-year-old would face one charge of offensive language in relation to an incident that occurred in a Queenstown taxi on November 3.

She is due to appear in the Queenstown District Court on March 18 and remained on leave without pay, unrelated to the incident.

Queenstown Taxis managing director Grant Scannell joined his Malaysian staff member in making the complaint, presenting police with a video from inside the taxi which, he claimed, showed an assault as well as the use of offensive language.

"I'm not happy if that's the only charge that has been laid. From our point of view it's taken 3 months," he said.

The driver still worked for his company but had been affected by the incident and now worked only day shifts.

"He was worried there would be repercussions from the police force but I told him it's not like that in New Zealand."

In written responses to The Southland Times, Mr Burns did not comment on the conclusions of the investigation, undertaken by a senior officer from outside the area.

He said: "The charge she is facing is one of offensive language. She is not facing a charge of assault."

He also declined to comment on the video.

"The evidence police have available to them is a matter at this point in time for the prosecution and not something we will comment on as the case is before the court," he said.

Mrs McNee's lawyer, Nic Soper, told The Southland Times yesterday he was disappointed with the police notification.

"Neither I nor Jenny had received any indication from the police that they had concluded their investigation and reached a decision.

"She was advised on Friday that a summons had been issued. I haven't seen any of the disclosure from the police." 

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