Hatred between two families and a teenage love story form the background to two police officers facing kidnapping charges at the Auckland High Court.
Inspector Hurimoana Dennis faces two charges of unlawfully detaining while co-accused and Sergeant Vaughan Perry faces a single charge.
Crown Prosecutor Brian Dickey told jury members in his opening address of a 2015 relationship between a 17-year-old boy and his 15-year-old girlfriend which the boy’s family disapproved of.
Their concern was whether the boy was in a sexual relationship with the minor.
Mr Dickey outlined how the two families had a public argument at an East Auckland park.
Dennis, who knew the boy’s whanau, was at the scene.
The teenager has name suppression. But his own mother laid a formal complaint in 2015 that a sexual relationship with a minor was underway.
Mr Dickey said that complaint was unlikely to have been for the benefit of the teenage girl.
Instead it was because the boy’s mother "hated" the girl’s mother.
No charges were laid, instead the investigating officer wrote an email to Dennis characterising him as a good kid with a good head on his shoulders.
However, Mr Dennis then had the 17-year-old brought in for further questioning and then an ultimatum was given - the boy was told he could go to Australia and start a new life or face a charge of statutory rape.
He was then locked up in a cell at the Auckland Central Police Station, before agreeing, Mr Dickey said.
The defence is yet to give its opening statement.