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R v Parry [2022] NZDC 5948

Published 30 June 2022

Judge-alone trial — receiving stolen property — identification evidence — recklessness — Evidence Act 2006, ss 122(5), 124(3), 124(4) & 126(3) — Crimes Act 1961, s 246 — R v Kennedy [2001] 1 NZLR 314 — Cullen v R [2014] NZCA 325 — Cullen v R [2012] NZCA 413 — R v Dewar [2008] NZCA 344 — McLaughlin v R [2015] NZCA 339. The defendant faced a charge of receiving stolen property. He was alleged to have received a coffee machine and various other goods, being reckless as to whether or not they had been stolen. The issues for the Court were identity and the defendant's state of mind. The main prosecution witness had been at home when her uncle arrived to ask if he could store a coffee machine at her house. The witness's uncle, with help from another person who had accompanied him, then transferred the coffee machine and other items into the witness's kitchen. The witness later discovered that the property was stolen, and as a result her uncle was arrested and later convicted of stealing the items. Subsequently the defendant was charged with being the person who had helped the witness's uncle with moving the stolen items. The Court found that the defendant was indeed this person. The witness had seen the defendant before, and she gave credible evidence. However the Court was not convinced that the defendant had been reckless at the time that he had received the property. The defendant had lied during his police interview, but this was not proof of guilt. In the circumstances, it was possible that the defendant had believed that the witness's uncle had acquired the coffee machine and other items honestly. The charge was dismissed. Judgment Date: 7 April 2022. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *