New Zealand Police v GW [2020] NZYC 629

Published 13 October 2021

Admissibility of evidence — fingerprint evidence — burglary — nominated person — failure to discharge duty to young person — Crimes Act 1961, s 231(1)(a) — Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995 — Policing Act 2008, ss 32 & 33 — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 5, 208, 219, 221, 224 & 251 — Evidence Act 2006, s 30 — United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child — Campbell v R [2014] NZCA 376 — Campbell v R [2015] NZCA 452 — R v Z [2008] NZCA 246, [2008] 3 NZLR 342 — New Zealand Police v FG [2020] NZYC 328. The young person faced a charge of burglary which he denied. Counsel for the young person challenged the admissibility of fingerprint evidence obtained pursuant to s 30 of the Evidence Act, submitting that the police constables had failed to discharge their duty to the young person, and that the young person's father had not properly discharged his obligation as nominated person. The Judge considered that while the constables had cautioned the young person on his rights and the young person had sufficient comprehension of them, he did not adequately understand how to exercise them, in particular his right to consult a lawyer. This, combined with the finding that the nominated person had not properly discharged his obligation to the young person, meant that the fingerprint evidence was improperly obtained. The Judge ruled the evidence inadmissible. Judgment Date: 22 December 2020. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *