Damage claims not credible, court rules

identification was the prosecution's downfall in the Timaru District Court yesterday.

Lynn Mary Bailie, 47, a caregiver of Timaru, appeared before Judge Joanna Maze on one count of wilful damage and one count of intentional damage.

Bailie was represented by Douglas Brown and the police by Sergeant Mike Wingfield.

The incident allegedly happened at a King St address on March 30, about 10pm, where an occupant said she was woken up by a car pulling up to the driveway. Loud music was playing.

She said she opened the door to her sleepout behind the house and saw a blonde Pakeha woman, in her 40s, wearing a black hoodie and pink pyjama pants, standing next to a van in the driveway. She said the woman was slashing at the van with a pair of scissors, or a knife.

The witness said the woman then drove off to a nearby address.

She continued to watch the woman for about 10 minutes, before alerting the male occupant of the house.

He told the court that after hearing about the car being damaged, he went to the defendant's house. When he approached the defendant she swore at him, telling him to leave.

He returned to his house and called the police.

The judge said the wilful damage charge relied on the testimony of the first witness being reliable and credible.

"No formal identification of the defendant was made. The witness gave her evidence in a casual, off-hand way. She gave evidence on a person holding a knife/scissors and slashing at the car, but with the photographs produced of the car, it proves to be an exaggeration.

"She also describes breaking of glass before speaking to the other witness. No evidence of broken glass at the front steps or door has been given."

The judge dismissed the charge of wilful damage.

On the charge of intentional damage on the same night, the male witness claimed Bailie broke a kitchen window while he was waiting for the police to come.

Through the hearing it was established the occupants of the two houses bore ill-will towards each other.

The judge asked whether it was beyond reasonable doubt that the window was broken that night, and whether the male witness had seen Bailie smash the window.

"There were no eye-witnesses to the second event. I have no way of knowing which witness is lying," the judge said, dismissing the charge.

The Timaru Herald