False rape claimant won’t face charges
The woman whose rape claim against a police recruit was thrown out of court will not be charged with making a false complaint, police say.
Mark Tulloch, who walked free from the High Court at Wellington two weeks ago, is still waiting to find out whether he can resume training to become a police officer.
He did not want to comment on the decision not to charge the woman. “It’s all in the past for me,” he said. “It’s a police decision. I’ve moved on.”
The woman said Mr Tulloch raped her in April 2008 after they met via an internet dating site. He was arrested within days and has been on paid leave from the police for nearly a year.
After hearing the woman’s evidence at a trial last month, Justice Ron Young discharged Tulloch, in a move that amounted to an acquittal.
In written reasons issued later, the judge did not say the woman had lied but he said she had a history of making false allegations after falling out with people.
He said that, in all but the most exceptional cases, a jury should decide what had happened and assess the credibility of witnesses. In the Tulloch case, the woman contradicted herself on important matters, and gave evidence that conflicted with other credible and reliable evidence on vital points.
“My conclusion is that, taking into account the complainant’s evidence about what happened that night, together with the other evidence available, the complainant’s credibility and reliability was severely undermined.”
Even so, he would probably have left it to the jury to decide whether to believe her had she not had a “very concerning” pattern of making apparently false complaints against other people.
“On three occasions, at least, the complainant has made a false statement about criminal offending, including an allegation of rape, in circumstances where she has fallen out with or had a serious argument with another person.”
This combination of seriously weakened evidence, together with the pattern of false complaints, fundamentally undermined the complainant’s credibility and reliability, the judge said.