Police officer jailed for six years for raping colleague at Northland motel

Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 30 Apr 2020, 3:42PM
Police officer Jamie Foster was jailed today for rape. Photo / Sam Hurley
Police officer Jamie Foster was jailed today for rape. Photo / Sam Hurley

Police officer jailed for six years for raping colleague at Northland motel

Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 30 Apr 2020, 3:42PM

A police officer who raped a colleague at a Northland motel has been jailed for six years.

Jamie Foster was sentenced this afternoon in the Auckland District Court.

The 29-year-old's two week trial last month ended when the jury found the constable guilty of indecently assaulting and sexually violating his female workmate at a Kerikeri motel during the early hours of February 5 last year.

The North Shore officer was part of a group deployed to help police the 2019 Waitangi Day events at the Treaty Grounds, whose collective actions and lewd behaviour have caused severe embarrassment and questions over police culture.

Judge Evangelos Thomas jailed Foster for a total of six years today.

Last week, the Herald publicly identified Foster for the first time as the convicted officer after he abandoned an appeal in an attempt to maintain the name suppression he had enjoyed since first being charged.

After Foster, who has a young family, learned of the unanimous guilty verdicts he screamed in the courtroom: It's ******* not fair!" the policeman screamed in the courtroom. "******* bull****!

His family said: "The truth will come out."

It remains to be seen whether Foster will appear his convictions and sentence.

Foster's victim, who has permanent name suppression, today spoke of her attacker's cry for fairness.

"Let's talk about fair, because somehow you still don't get it Jamie," she told the court via video link.

"It's not fair you sexually violated me."

She said the guilty cop was "sick, self-entitled" and had arrogant needs, characteristics Crown prosecutor Fiona Culliney also described during the trial.

"I trusted you, I thought you were a nice person, a colleague, a team member and workmate," the victim said.

"This is not a story of lies, regret or a false complaint, this is a story of sexual assault."

During the trial, the victim described how she woke in her dark motel room to pain.

She then reached for her phone and began recording a video. A one minute and 50 second interaction was recorded between her and Foster.

"I've denied you earlier, and I've woken up to you ******* me," she can be heard crying.

CCTV footage also showed Foster "creeping" across the motel courtyard at 2.34am and slowly opening the ranch slider door of his victim's room.

"With a sense of entitlement, which he quite clearly has, he crept into her room and he raped her," Culliney said.

During the case, Foster and his lawyer Paul Borich QC claimed any sexual contact with the victim was consensual and a "pre-arranged hook-up".

But Culliney said Foster "helped himself" to his colleague as she lay sleeping after earlier indecently assaulting her when the two were alone.

Judge Thomas said the evidence left no doubt.

"You raped her as she slept," he told Foster.

He said the evidence does not leave open the possibility it was anything other than rape, or mistaken belief in consent.

"She woke when she felt the pain," Judge Thomas continued. 'The rape stopped at that point, but as you have heard so graphically the trauma [for your victim] was just beginning. The harm that she will suffer in the future, she still does not yet know."

Judge Thomas said Foster breached his workmate's trust and the trust the public places in its police officers.

Drinking games and nudity: Other officers at the motel disciplined

More CCTV footage from the night also revealed lewd behaviour by several other police officers staying at the motel.

It included footage of a senior sergeant exposing himself and a drinking game using a hollowed-out police baton.

Foster was stood down from the police after the allegations emerged and a separate employment investigation was conducted.

Today, Crown lawyer Rebekah Thompson said Foster "brought the police force as a whole into disrepute".

"Actions like this damage the police," she said. "We are entitled to and we do expect a much higher level of police officers."

Borich, however, warned against his client becoming a scapegoat for all the detestable police actions at the motel.

Judge Thomas said: "This is in effect sexual offending within the workplace."

The Herald has asked police if Foster is still an employee, and if not, when his job was terminated.

Northland's Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston told the court employment investigations into some of the other officers at the motel have concluded.

"The conduct of some of the people involved fell well short of expectations," he said.

After the trial, Superintendent Naila Hassan said four of the other officers were disciplined for behaving in a way which breached the police code of conduct.

"Three of them were dealt with within our disciplinary process and remain on active duty," she said.

One officer is "no longer working for the New Zealand Police".

The Herald asked police what punishment was dished out to those cops, and specifically asked if they had been demoted or reassigned to a different unit.

However, a police spokeswoman said today no further comment could be made about the internal employment issues due to privacy obligations.

For the officer who is no longer in the force, the Herald asked if that was the unit's senior sergeant, who can be seen on CCTV twice exposing his genitals to other officers at the motel.

Again, the police spokeswoman said she could not comment for the same privacy reasons.

All of the other officers at the motel that night, some of whom told the jury they feared the employment investigation and felt pressure from senior officers, all have their identities suppressed to protect the identity of the victim.