R v Hunuhunu [2019] NZDC 4408

Published 16 June 2020

Pre-trial hearing — admissibility of evidence — visual identification — Evidence Act 2006, s 45 — Harney v Police [2011] NZSC 107. Two defendants faced a raft of charges, primarily related to an alleged home invasion. It was alleged the two men had gone to the address of the two complainants armed with guns, threatened them, demanded money, locked them in a car and assaulted one of them. This pre-trial hearing was to address issues of evidence. The primary issue was whether identification evidence of a complainant was admissible at the jury trial. One of the complainants had identified both defendants out of a photo montage provided by police. It was submitted that this procedure had been improperly conducted as it occurred once on 7 November and then again on 30 November. The defendants submitted this was improper. The Judge disagreed, finding there was no evidence of collusion in the intervening period and it was standard practice to allow witnesses to have breaks when looking at photo montages of possible offenders. The threshold of evidence against the defendants (which included the complainant's identification evidence, fingerprints linking them to her car and the discovery of weapons at their home) was sufficient to be put to the jury. The complainant's evidence was admissible. Judgment Date: 5 March 2019.