Folks, cops are bullying desperate people into false confessions & we need a wee korero about that


‘I reckon we just f…ing lie’: Cops caught planning to deceive during murder investigation

Senior police officers investigating a sex worker’s brutal killing planned to lie to a vulnerable prisoner, and then made up evidence to extract information from him.

Stuff is finally able to reveal that two detectives, who have been granted name suppression, were involved in controversial interviews with Mauha Fawcett, who was jailed for murdering Christchurch prostitute Mellory Manning in December 2008.

The detectives were then caught on the covert recorder secreted on one of them, discussing how they could get Fawcett to come up from his cell. One officer suggested they tell a prison guard to inform Fawcett, “That it’s vitally important for this man’s own, his safety, his life. And I reckon we just f…..g lie.”

One detective then proposed telling Fawcett there were, “Two or three people that f…..g, want to f…..g kill his ass,” in order to get him to provide them with information.

While they waited, one officer seemed frustrated by the delay in meeting Fawcett: “F…..g hell, they just used to drag these c….s up screaming and fighting.”

When Fawcett finally arrived, he said he’d heard the detectives wanted to speak to him about his safety. The officers replied: “Yeah, sure brother, that’s why we’re here. We f…..g haven’t just flown up from Christchurch just to chew the fat with you.”

After giving Fawcett chocolate and drinks, the officers told him he was “in a power of shit” with the Mongrel Mob, and claimed the gang were blaming him for Manning’s murder, and “there’s some serious heat coming your way,” and “we’re not just talking bashes, here.”

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They mentioned Manning (“the girl in the drink”) and wondered if Fawcett was “going to be the next one in the river.”

Here’s the worst part about this.

Despite manipulating and lying to a desperate prisoner and bullying a confession out of them, despite that, the legal system still ruled that this deceit, abuse of power and caught in the act evidence was NOT enough to breach the ‘Oppressive level’ of state abuse of power.

Isn’t that extraordinary? After being caught in the act of bullying a confession, the system still protects the cops.

That gives you an insight into the enormity of the power imbalance. You aren’t just up against cops using corrupt processes, you are also up against a legal system that lets them off the hook when they are caught.

How many times do we get told by the cops after a deplorable interview process that borders on bullying a confession out of desperate and simple people, that Police promise to change procedure?

We had it after Police planted evidence in the Arthur Allan Thomas case, we had it after the using false memory evidence from children Christchurch Creche satanic case, we had it after Teina Pora who was interviewed for 5 days in a row, we had it with taking photos illegally from Māori teenagers on the street and last month we had a Detective Superintendent who was the architect of a controversial new police interrogation program called the  Complex Investigation Phased Engagement Model, caught out lying about his level of involvement in detectives using his model for a case that was eventually kicked out of court because it was manipulating people into making confessions!

This week we hear about Alan Hall, whose conviction for murder, of which he has served 19 years in jail, has been quashed because Police lied to the Jury and hid crucial evidence from the defence and altered witness statements to entrap him despite Alan Hall having Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Man who spent 19 years in jail for murder was wrongfully convicted, Crown admits

On the eve of a crucial Supreme Court hearing, the Crown has admitted Auckland man Alan Hall, who spent nearly two decades in prison for murder, shouldn’t have been convicted, because police deliberately hid vital evidence from the jury.

In an extraordinary submission to the Supreme Court, Crown Law, which oversees criminal prosecutions in New Zealand, has conceded “a substantial miscarriage of justice occurred in Mr Hall’s case, and that his convictions should be quashed”.

Hall was 23 when police targeted him for murdering Auckland father of five Arthur Easton in 1985.

He has spent 19 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit!

Look, you can’t have a Police interview process that generates false or illegal confessions! If all we are trying to do is set people up and convict them of crimes we force them to confess to, that’s not a fucking legal process, that’s a gulag!

How have the NZ Police managed to get away with this with so little media attention?

If the mainstream media are finished crucifying Karmel Santamaria could they focus on this?

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  1. Beware of focusing only on the interview failures in the Hall case.
    As egregious was the deliberate interference with and suppression of evidence.
    Crown Law has pointed questions to answer as much as our dodgy police force do.

  2. Interrogation is always tricky, especially with people who have good reasons to lie, but if you are relying on threats or torture (and sleep deprivation is a form of torture) to get confessions, then you no longer have a justice system.

    However it is worth remembering that the Police are never wrong, will never admit that they might have been wrong and certainly aren’t going to hold any officer responsible if it turns out that reality doesn’t fit with their version. When the innocent go to prison, the guilty walk free (or in Robin Bain’s case, get buried without the stigma of having killed yourself after brutally murdering most of your family to cover up the levels of your abuse, hanging over you).

  3. Martyn you paint the police as criminal which is not what they are there for.
    My question is why does this culture exist in our police force and who do we point the finger at?
    Difficult question given it’s been going on for many years across different governments.

  4. Neoliberalism ( Which I term fascist capitalism. ) has created monsters on both sides of the ‘law’. Surprise, surprise re this.
    Actually, I am surprised. This is outrageous. And chilling. Go you @ TDB.

    • it all comes down to energy. the down curve off the biggest energy bonanza in the history of man (which has lead us here) is going to be brutal if we can’t keep it up. Nuclear powered lithium or coal powered hydrogen is about the best we’ve got. Not feeling confident. Gloomish in fact. plenty of water here at times. maybe concentrate on conserving energy, water and health. Keep immigration under control. sounds like the current govt – oh dear – now standing to swing away to a capital free for all. capex for opex. lobbyists and contractors – tax cuts for all – law and order de-rigeur – tightening of personal freedoms.. conserving of status (except for the environment which will be exploited to the max) – wet dreams of a capitalist utopia — it’s all so predictable…

    • Potentially you could play to their better nature (unlikely) or offer a deal which they might take if you present a strong enough case with a reduced sentence for a guilt plea. Mostly questioning is used to trap people in lies, that you can prove are lies or play people off against each other. If your case requires a confession, it is a pretty weak case & you should probably actually go out find some real evidence. If your case requires a secret jailhouse snitch you’ve done a deal with, then you really should get some real evidence or find the actual suspect.

      Or just move them to a black site & subject them to hard “interrogation” until they break, it depends whether you believe in justice or just that the ends justify the means.


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