Ronald Turner, a name paramount to this investigation simply because he is the only witness outside of the Easton family that saw the alleged offender.
The importance of Turners testimony is he described a man he saw running two blocks from the scene of the homicide as Maori where clearly Allan Hall is European or male Caucasian.
In his signed statement the day following the murder, Mr Turner gave details about the man’s movements and observations stating the alleged offender had stopped and looked around behind him, walking down a right of way.
Turner described the alleged offender as being a male Maori and his height would be between 5’7” and 6’ and you could see he was definitely dark skinned; he was not white.
Alongside Mr Turners witness statement, the two injured Easton boys gave statements saying, although not conclusive, that the offender was male Maori, and these two statements were supported by the attending ambulance officers statement, again describing a male Maori offender.
The Police purposely withheld both Easton boys’ statements from defence counsel as well as the statement from the ambulance officer.
Given the fact these statements had been purposely withheld the jury had little reason to think the offender couldn’t have been Allan, especially given the fact the Police had changed Mr Turners statement removing the words Maori out of it.
Mr Turners changed statement was read to the jury by the residing judge, who also was unaware that it had been changed.
The other troubling issues has to be the description of the offender given by the Easton boys. Putting ethnicity aside they speak of a solidly built offender who fought off 3 males trying to defend themselves. Allan Hall is slight and weighs around 62 kilos.
The offender had a Tennis racquet smashed over his head, which would have left injuries, but Allan Hall had not sign of healing wounds, but still the investigation focused on him.
Why would the police falsify a written witness statement, purposely removing words describing the ethnicity of the offender? The answer simply must be to get a quick easy conviction.
SJA believe that the public have a right to know who changed the witness statement, and how this was allowed to happen? Even though it was many moons ago, what has been done to stop it happening again? and is it still happening today? From where we are standing it clearly is and those responsible must be held to account.
Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa