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Police officer jailed for raping colleague heads to Court of Appeal

The lawyer representing a police officer jailed for raping his colleague says there has been a grave miscarriage of justice.

Jamie Anthony Foster. Source: rnz.co.nz

Jamie Anthony Foster was found guilty of groping and later raping a female officer after a jury trial in Auckland in March.

He has always maintained his innocence and today took his case to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to overturn his conviction.

Foster lost his composure on hearing the guilty verdicts at his trial - swearing in the dock and exclaiming it was not fair.

He adamantly denies raping his colleague - a crime for which he is now serving a six-year jail sentence.

In the Court of Appeal today, his lawyer Paul Borich said his client did not get a fair go.

"This appeal is about Jamie Foster and how his trial radically departed from normal trial practice to such an extent that he did not receive a fair trial and suffered a grave miscarriage of justice."

At trial, the female officer told the jury she woke up to the man raping her as she slept in a Kerikeri motel in February last year.

Today, Borich argued the jury did not hear all of the relevant evidence. He also criticised elements of how the trial ran in the specialist sexual violence court.

Borich said the use of faulty screens - set up to shield a complainant from the defendant - was not fair on his client.

He also criticised the Crown's closing submissions - notably Fiona Culliney's opening and closing addresses in which she told the jury Foster had "helped himself" to the woman.

"What the prosecutor there [did] ... was tap into contemporary and current victim themes. We cannot question victims. Not a woman who complains, not in 2020. If you do that, you are a victim denier, you are a victim blamer, you are anti-women, you are living in the past century."

Borich said such submissions amounted to moral blackmail and stopped jurors from doing their jobs as judges of the facts.

"It was subtle, powerful and inappropriate advocacy. It was a morally charged plea for the jury not to do their job, not to scrutinise her evidence. If you do in the jury room you are as bad as Borich, you are a victim blamer."

In response to Borich's points, Crown lawyer Karen Grau said the evidence and submissions presented at trial were sound and it was not accepted there had been a possible miscarriage of justice in the case.

Foster was not in court in person or via audio visual link today but had close to 50 supporters who sat in the public gallery wearing white shirts with badges that read 'Justice For Jamie'.

Justices Courtney, Woolford and Mander reserved their decision.

rnz.co.nz