Northland police officer Kevin Burke on trial for alleged sex assaults

2019-02-13 19:33:59

A senior Northland police officer showed up at a witness' home with a box of beer before sexually assaulting her, a court has heard.

Detective inspector Kevin Burke denies two counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual violation against two complainants in 2002 and 2003.

Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch told the jury at Auckland's High Court Burke sexually assaulted the two women, who were unconnected to each other, while working as a detective at Orewa police station.

"The two complainants come from very different worlds and led very different lives, but the Crown says they have one thing in common, Kevin Burke sexually assaulted them after they had put their trust and confidence in him as a police officer," Murdoch said.

The first complainant met Burke after she reported a crime and Burke was investigating.

A couple of weeks after she gave information to Burke, he arrived unannounced at her home in Auckland with beer and wine.

The complainant, who was not drinking that night and lived alone, became concerned about Burke's ability to drive after drinking and made up a spare room for him.

As she showed Burke the room, he grabbed her and pulled her inside, Murdoch said.

"Burke started to kiss her all over her face and neck, physically over powering her and bringing her to the floor," the court heard.

As the victim struggled, Burke allegedly held up her arms with one hand and pulled down her gym tights with his other hand before sexually assaulting her.

The victim struggled and asked Burke to stop but he continued, the court heard.

"She never saw the defendant again after that. She never heard about this case she had reported or given information about," Murdoch said.

The woman was "appalled" at Burke's actions but she didn't report the matter at the time because she "didn't want to be a victim and got on with her life".

When Burke was interviewed in 2017 and 2018 about the alleged attack in 2002, he said the relationship was consensual.


Burke met the second complainant, who was the victim in a domestic stabbing, in 2002 when he was appointed as the officer in charge of her case.

The first time Burke allegedly sexually assaulted her was in August 2003.

Burke tracked her down and showed up on a Friday night in his work clothes with a bottle of wine, pizza and paperwork, Murdoch told the court.

The complainant drank some wine but later went to bed and thought Burke had left.

"Instead he came into her bedroom, got undressed, came into her bed, pushed her shoulder down when she turned around to look at him so she was lying flat on her stomach. He didn't say anything to her," Murdoch said.

He then allegedly rubbed her up an down with his naked body, before "shaking and shivering" and trying to cuddle her.

She pushed him away and felt sick, the court heard.

Burke was still there in the morning but left looking happy. The woman was disgusted and confused.

On a second occasion, he allegedly pushed her up against the hallway wall and groped her bottom and breasts.

Another time, Burke allegedly exposed himself to her before pushing her back on a bed and performing oral sex on her.

The complainant squeezed her legs tight and placed her hands in his way trying to stop Burke, but she was intimidated by his use of force, Murdoch said.

The woman made a formal police complaint in 2017 and Burke strongly denied any sexual impropriety.

Defence lawyer Arthur Fairley said the relationship between Burke and the first complainant was consensual.

He went to her Auckland house invited and stayed the night where they had consensual sex and continued to have contact after that meeting, Fairley told the jury.

Fairley told the jury Burke never had sexual contact with the second complainant.

Burke was stood down from the police force in April 2017 when the criminal investigation started and was charged in December 2017.

The trial is set down for two weeks in front of Justice Katz and a jury of seven women and five men.

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