The Obscenity of Alan Hall’s miscarriage of justice but have NZ Police actually changed?


Alan Hall to get $5m compensation for wrongful murder conviction

Alan Hall, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent more than 18 years in prison will receive $5m compensation.

It is by far the largest payout to a wrongfully convicted person in New Zealand and comes a year after the Supreme Court quashed Hall’s conviction for murdering Arthur Easton in 1985, saying there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice.

In addition to his compensation, at a meeting this morning in Auckland the Government apologised to Hall, and acknowledged his innocence, following one of the most appalling miscarriages of justice in this country’s history.

Arthur Easton, a 52-year-old father of five, was stabbed with a bayonet in his Auckland home in October 1985. Two of his sons were also injured in the attack.

Hall, then 23, became the prime suspect two months later, after admitting he had owned a bayonet, and a woollen hat, like those left at the crime scene.

However, it was later revealed police deliberately altered the evidence of a crucial witness, failed to disclose other vital evidence and statements, and placed Hall, who has an intellectual disability, under extreme pressure during 23 hours of interviews, without a lawyer being present.

They knew they had framed an innocent man and no one in the system lifted a finger!

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It is an obscenity that become an abomination.

Anyone reading the Alan Hall case would be shocked at the blatant attempt to frame him for the crime.

You honestly get the perception after reading the reports that the cops simply rounded up the most vulnerable person near the crime and bullied him into answers that were used to frame him while withholding evidence that proved he didn’t do it.

They knew Alan couldn’t have committed the crime, but the simply framed him anyway because their interrogation techniques are manipulative and have little to do with catching the actual criminal and more to do with simply finding a prosecution.

With the recent litany of miscarriage of justice cases, seeing the inside of a corrupted police interrogation process happening in real time now suggests the Police have learned NOTHING from the mistakes and failures of the past, which is what we have been promised  every time one of these miscarriages of justice get exposed!

Look at how the NZ Police bullied false confessions out of people in the recent Lois Tolley murder case…

Police are refusing to release a review of the controversial investigation into the murder of Upper Hutt woman Lois Tolley, sparking accusations that they are covering up serious misconduct.

Tolley, 30, was shot point-blank in her home in December 2016, in what police described at the time as “an execution-type killing”.

After an extensive investigation, named Operation Archer, three men were eventually charged in 2019 with her murder.

But the charges against all three men, who have name suppression, were dropped by police last year, before the case went to trial, with a judge commenting: “There is presently really no evidence against any of them.”

…It is unacceptable in the extreme for the Police to not release this investigation into what went wrong with this case!

To have gotten prosecution this far advanced without any actual evidence because the police interrogation technique was so corrupted is gasp inducing in its conclusions…

This followed revelations that one of the accused had falsely confessed to the murder, after police used a contentious interviewing technique, the Complex Investigation Phased Engagement Model (CIPEM).

…the whole case became so tainted with the inclusion of jail house narks and unreliable witnesses that there had to be an investigation into how badly Police screwed up…

High Court Justice Simon France said the man, known as X, had been manipulated by the detectives interviewing him, who had broken numerous fundamental rules of interviewing, and X’s “confession” was flawed and not credible.

The case against the other two men collapsed for separate reasons, largely related to the unreliability of key witnesses – including a woman twice charged with perverting the course of justice, and jailhouse informants with numerous convictions for dishonesty, who told conflicting stories.

In a rare move, police subsequently appointed Auckland King’s Counsel and former Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins to undertake “an independent review of aspects of the police inquiry”.

…the corruption of credible evidence and process was so extreme that there had to be an independent investigation into how the fuck it got this far.

Turns out we won’t be allowed to know because the Police are now refusing to release the report…

However, police refused to release the terms of reference for Perkins’ review, making it unclear which parts of the failed investigation were being looked at and whether he was considering why the case collapsed against all three defendants, or just X.

Perkins’ review was completed in August.

But police are now refusing to release the report, or even a summary of its findings, saying it is “confidential and legally privileged”.


Yet it manages to get worse!

The defence lawyers of the men falsely set up using jailhouse snitch ‘evidence’ and this weird Complex Investigation Phased Engagement Model (CIPEM) have all complained about tactics used by Police that are absolutely outside the law, like with holding evidence that proves their client innocent!

Wintour said that during the investigation, police deliberately hid material from him until the last minute that suggested his client wasn’t involved in the murder.

Yet it manages to get worse!

The refusal to release the report follows continued efforts by police to withhold material relating to the Lois Tolley investigation and the CIPEM interviewing method.

Stuff has twice been forced to get court judgments in order to obtain access to relevant documents.

It also comes after the retirement of the country’s top investigatorand architect of CIPEM, Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald, earlier this month.

Fitzgerald was closely involved with the interviews of X, but he insisted CIPEM wasn’t to blame for mistakes made by the interviewing detectives and said his retirement had nothing to do with scrutiny of the technique.

So the model being used allows Detectives to lie, bully and manipulate false confessions and the Detective Superintendent who created this model used in the Lois Tolley case, originally claimed the Detectives misused the model and it had nothing to do with him, when it turns out that wasn’t true and that he was actually monitoring the interview from a seperate room and was advising during the interview.

Yet it manages to get worse!

Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald also was responsible for that other great questionable miscarriage of justice case, the murder of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart.

Based on what we currently have in front of us with this case and the recent miscarriages of justice cases of Peter Ellis, David Dougherty, Teina Pora,  David Lyttle, Mauha Fawcett and Alan Hall you get a terrible feeling that Police are not following the evidence in case, but are merely rounding up the most vulnerable suspects and bullying confessions out of them or twisting the evidence to fit the crime.

What is happening here is a can of very sick and toxic worms are being ripped open while the media’s attention is on the petty and vacant.

What is being exposed here is a rotten process that reeks of corruption. I once thought that maybe as much as 5% of the prison population might be innocent, after looking at what has been starkly revealed in this police interrogation process, I think that number might be closer to 30% of the prison population being innocent.

What has been revelled here calls into question fundamental values of justice and Policing in a democracy. The total lack of wider attention this case and the questions it raises must be addressed.

Of course, in all of this is the whanau of Lois Tolley, whose murder has not been solved and whose family can not rest.

Lois Tolley and her family deserved far better than this debacle.

Our justice system demands higher levels of professionalism than this shambles.

And our Police force should be ashamed.

With Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald suddenly quitting last year from his role with Police, I think an urgent independent review of his previous cases is required and the media should be calling for it.

Allan Hall may be but the beginning of something far, far, far, larger.




  1. Yes, NZ Police culture has not substantially changed despite the efforts of a few trendy ones in the leadership.

    Macho, violent, racist, sexist and bent is the NZ Police way. They profile various ethnic groups (pulled up for driving a motor vehicle while Māori), use unlawful surveillance techniques, leave some of their snouts in the community still committing crime and so on. They regularly perjure themselves in Courts. They investigate themselves when there are complaints. It burns out a fair few cops too, a lot of them retire early sometimes with PTSD, or because they got caught–raiding evidence stores or other offences.

    Many NZers pathetically support the cops right or wrong or just do not believe how bad they can be. I have known their ways since a teenager driving US V8s, and later a union and political activist. If you are burgled good luck with getting any interest from the plods, however, set up a picket line outside an employers business and they are there in 10 minutes. The best policy with NZ cops is to avoid contact with them as much as possible.

    A full investigation into the likes of Tom Fitzgerald would be very interesting if any NZ journalists had the balls to go there.

  2. In the article on Alan Hall, A12 News Saturday August 19, it says ‘it was later revealed police deliberately altered the evidence of a crucial witness, failed to disclose other vital evidence and statements…’.

    Given that the Crown has known since 2018 of a miscarriage of justice in Hall’s case, it beggars belief that, at the end of the same article it states ‘Police said two investigations into the case – into who did kill Arthur Easton, and whether anyone is criminally culpable for Alan Hall’s wrongful conviction – were on-going’.

    How long has this enquiry been going on for? I am sure it will be clear to most people reading the article that a policeman or more than one will, or should be, criminally liable for assisting in locking up an innocent man for 18 years. I look forward to the completion of the enquiry.

    • It has been going on for as long as I can remember. The real problems are that police are just allowed to get on with it and there is no independent review of anything either before or after the trial, and there is no process for looking back at dodgy convictions even after new evidence comes to light.
      I well remember Phil Goff inopposition wanting a review of the Peter Ellis case but when he was justice minister he couldn’t kick it into touch fast enough.

  3. It has been my impression for decades that the police are more interested in getting a conviction than convicting the guilty person. They believe they are infallible & refuse to listen to any differing viewpoints. Regarding the Scott Watson case not long after his first trial I was working with a man who was at the location when the events happened & he had seen the 2 masted ketch (?), he had tried to tell the police what he had seen but they were not interested.

  4. …..waiting for the “it’s just a few rotten apples, the vast majority of police are honest” trope.

    A platitude invariably offered without a shred of evidence to validate it.

    • Not necessarily a platitude. There were police persons unhappy about the transgender extremists given full rein to terrorise women at Albert Park, even if the decision makers were amenable to it. At the Parliament precinct demo, it was the police who tried to stop Trevor Mallard’s loud music assault on the hitherto seemingly peaceful demonstrators, but Parliamentary Services over-ruled them, and it was the police who ended up assaulted and covid-infected, not the politicians calling the shots and hiding inside the Beehive, protected by the police.

    • I erred. The police tried to stop Mallard’s watering people and creating a river of filth. Unsure about the “ music” issue, except that Mallard warned nearby residents that the noise could be intolerable.

  5. Well said Martyn!

    You forgot to mention the 1993 David Doherty case where the Police withheld exculpatory evidence, and of course the Peter Ellis case and all the miscarriages of justice that were involved in that affair. They even refused an appeal for Ellis on a technicality when even the Law Society had published an article criticizing the outcome.

    It’s wider than just the police, because Crown Prosecution is donkey deep in this mess too.

  6. ” Allan Hall may be but the beginning of something far, far, far, larger ”

    Is there any hope for Scott Watson ?

    Its probably just as well we won’t be returning to the death penalty any time soon.

    • Wouldn’t guarantee that Mosa. What’s next after Mitchell and Seymours lock them up and throw away the key policy when they find out it doesn’t make any difference. They will never back down, only get harsher.

  7. If money cures all ills then I demand that the unemployed and unhoused get true compensation for having their means of supporting themselves and being given a good start in life by people enabled by the state to do so. Hah! I should coco and if you don’t know what that means its a Brit expression as unfamiliar to you as caring about doing a good job of running the country for advancement of all is to either major party. I wouldn’t be surprised if the police don’t want cannabis made legal, as it gives them opportunities for helicopter rides, and to set up petty crims for advancement in their rocky paths to a future of cruelty, anger and brokenness.

    Slogan – Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party, that’s supposed to be a good keyboard exercise – but it hasn’t got a z in it to represent the zoo we live in that not even the RSPCA or the UN can influence to the better.

  8. The Allan Hall case highlights a deeper endemic issue within the Police – corruption. I am not talking about cops accepting money from criminal groups but rather, the type of corruption exposed in this case and others Martyn has highlighted. Unfortunately, I suspect it will continue unabated. Just look at the recent example of a High Court Judge stopping a trial because the cops had deliberately withheld dozens of pages of the police file. This would never have surfaced if it had not been for a witness who was being questioned during the trial saying that he had said something to the cops, which none of the lawyers were aware of.

    In saying this, I do not want to detract from what happened to Mr Hall. I am pleased he is going to be paid $5M but sadly, it does not really address the 19 years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit. It was a shocking and dreadful thing the cops did, simply to get a conviction. Whoever altered the statement of the independent witness and withheld other information from the defence lawyers should be charged with the crime of perverting the course of justice. Allan Hall is right – white feathers should be handed to the cops involved because their actions were cowardly.

    Also, what about the Crown’s involvement in this. The prosecutor who prosecuted Mr Hall should be called to account but I see the senior lawyer who reviewed the Crown’s involvement in this effectively minimised what those lawyers did.

    So, who did murder Mr Easton? It wasn’t Mr Hall. Will the Police really investigate this further or will they say, as they have often said before – we are not looking for anyone else in this investigation. And will they lay charges against the cop or cops involved in the outrageous corruption of changing the witness’s statement by deleting from that statement the description of the person the witness saw running away from the scene of the crime? It certainly did not fit the description of Mr Hall, who, as an autistic neuro-divergent young man was subjected to a 23 hour interview by the cops without legal representation and then charged with a crime he did not commit.

    Thanks Martyn – another brilliant article.

  9. is perverting the course of justice a crime in nz? so why aren’t members of the police and judiciary in the pokie? isn’t the no responsability a rightwing thing?

    • @gagarin – I totally agree. Allan Hall had his first appeal turned down by the Court of Appeal and then three requests for a pardon under the prerogative of mercy were also rejected –

      Finally, the Supreme Court got it right but how long did it take and what does that say about the so-called ‘justice system’ that so quickly and peremptorily dismisses appeals, even when there is evidence to suggest innocence, as in Mr Hall’s case and the others that Martyn refers to. Mosa’s comment above – “Its probably just as well we won’t be returning to the death penalty any time soon” – is so appropriate.

      Sadly though, what happened to Mr Hall will likely be repeated again and again and the system will not change. Unfortunately, there will still be those people who believe Mr Hall is guilty; that Arthur Allan Thomas is guilty; that David Dougherty is guilty; that Teina Pora is guilty, and so on and so on. These are the people who live in their smug little worlds and who have never been accused of something they did not do but would rather sit on their gins and tut, tut these sorts of cases and make dumb comments like, “lock them up and throw the key away”.

  10. Hall’s real crime that he wasn’t a nerdy looking classics major with a dysfunctional family. They are the ones who tend to have everything overturned, even though the evidence strongly suggested otherwise.

  11. lets face it – those who join the police aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed – they need to be muzzled and reined in hard, lest they suffer group think and an ego outside their scope.

  12. Well said Martyn..
    I do not know why the Government have to apologize. Now the Crown have got away with it all over and over again. We have evidence of Arthur Thomas being framed. How our family got involved in this dreadful corruption was when my brother was killed 11/11/11 by a past secret Crown witness against Arthur Thomas in the Royal Commission! That man was instructed to lie about Arthur by a Police Lawyer!! We have all the evidence in black and white thanks to Arthur THomas’s brother Des. It is beyond belief and I found out about a potential Crewe murder weapon and Judith Collins was Police Minister when she ignored this sworn affidavit.. why? Because her constituents have perverted the course of justice for decades! The lies are so serious and when you hear Crown Law and Counties Manukau are keeping these secrets from the public, and get nowhere trying to get those in power to listen, it is very disheartening to say the least!


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