TODAY |

Woman tells court of Northland policeman turning up at her home with box of beers, ahead of alleged sexual assault

A woman who had sought help from a senior Northland policeman alleges he later showed up to her home and pulled her into a “bearhug” before sexually assaulting her.

Detective Inspector Kevin Burke denies two charges of sexual violation and two charges of indecent assault involving two women in 2002 and 2003.

At the High Court in Auckland today, media weren’t allowed to film or record as a 64-year-old woman gave evidence.

She told the jury about when she first met Burke in August 2001 at Orewa Police Station.

She described the 20-minute meeting with him - about her dealings with a conman - as "fantastic", describing his manner as "very professional".

"The fact that someone believed me felt fantastic," she said. "My intuition, my feelings, were not just a figment of my imagination."

That was the last she said she heard from him until months later.

Then in January 2002, she said she had been cooking up a pot of pasta after exercising when she spotted a man on her driveway, carrying what appeared to be a box of paperwork under his arm.

She said as he got closer to the house, she realised it was Burke and that the box was actually filled with beers. He also had a bottle of wine with him.

"I just thought this was bizarre," she said. She couldn’t recall ever giving him her address.

The woman said she ushered for him to sit at the table on the deck, not wanting him to come in.

She said he started cracking into the beers, while she didn't drink anything.

A hour or two passed and she said Burke had finished off all the beers, still barely saying a word to her about why he was there.

"I remember thinking, 'God, he can't drive'," she said.

The woman then offered him a bowl of pasta she’d been making. By that stage, she said, it was about 8 or 8.30pm and she confronted him, saying, "Kevin, you can't drive."

She said she then made up a spare bed with some fresh sheets for him. A while later, she said he followed her down the hallway and she pointed to the room he could stay in.

It was then, the woman said, that "it all happened so fast".

"That's when he grabbed me by the shoulders...took two steps back and lay back on the bed," she testified. 

She said she was on top of him and "tried to push back" but he started kissing her face and neck.

"Kevin, what are you doing?" she recalled saying in a demanding tone. 

Next, the woman said, he pulled her onto the floor, held both her arms above her head and assaulted her for several minutes before Burke pulled her back onto the bed. She said he appeared to be falling asleep so she broke loose and went to her bedroom.

He said she never heard from Burke after that.

Burke's defence lawyer argued the pair's contact was consensual.

The second complainant is expected to give evidence tomorrow.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Detective Inspector Kevin Burke stands accused by two women.
Source: 1 NEWS