Stratford Police not heard of 018?

The Taranaki Daily News reports:

An Eltham man escaped a drink-driving conviction yesterday by arguing had not given him a phone book to call a lawyer. …

The judge found in favour of George Oliver’s contention in the Hawera District Court that police may not have done enough to contact his lawyer of choice.

Prominent lawyer Peter Brosnahan, well-known for success in this field, claimed a Stratford policeman lied to cover up a lack of process in the case.

At the Stratford police station on January 6, Oliver, 74, blew a breath test reading of 537mgs.

He had earlier specifically asked for Mr Brosnahan but neither he or constable Shaun Darth knew his phone number.

The contentious point was whether or not Mr Darth then offered Oliver a phone directory to contact him.

“Have you ever heard of 018?,” Mr Brosnahan asked.

“No,” Mr Darth said.

Mr Brosnahan: “You said you’ve never heard of 018 Telecom service?”

Mr Darth: “That’s correct.”

I find that incredible.

During cross-examination Mr Darth admitted he had created the job sheet, in which he said he had offered a phone book, months after the arrest.

Oh dear, oh dear. That is not good.

Judge E. Blaikie dismissed the case.

“I’m not saying there had been untruths told by the constable but there are some factors in his evidence that have left me unable to determine the factual situation beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

The Judge is being diplomatic I’d say.

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