16 April 2024

Charge dropped against police officer accused of indecently assaulting teen before Kanga Cup

| Albert McKnight
woman and man walking to court

David Brooke arrives at court with his solicitor, Satomi Hamon of Aulich, on Tuesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to an alleged indecent assault.

A charge has been dropped against a police officer accused of indecently assaulting a teenage girl before the 2023 Kanga Cup, bringing the legal proceedings against him to an end.

David Brooke was arrested on 1 July 2023 over the alleged incident, but his bail was later varied to allow him to return home to New Zealand.

While the hearing against him was scheduled to begin in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (16 April) so he could fight his charge of committing an act of indecency on a young person under his special care, this charge was withdrawn when he faced court that morning.

He then pleaded not guilty to a new charge of committing an act of indecency without consent, but after a short adjournment, the prosecutor said she would offer no evidence for this charge following representations from Mr Brooke’s lawyers.

“I totally agree with the prosecutor here,” his barrister, John Purnell SC, said. He also said he would make an unopposed application for legal costs.

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Documents tendered to the courts last year said Mr Brooke had travelled from Auckland to the ACT in June 2023 to work as a senior referee at the Kanga Cup.

He and other senior mentors and referee coaches went to a refereeing meet-up for team-building exercises on 1 July 2023, which was held before the cup was to take place.

David Brooke

David Brooke worked as a police officer for over 30 years in New Zealand. Photo: Albert McKnight.

It was alleged that during one of the exercises, Mr Brooke grabbed a teenage girl under her arms with both of his hands, causing his hands to touch her breasts.

However, in representations made to the Director of Public Prosecutions earlier this year, Mr Brooke’s solicitor, Satomi Hamon of Aulich, argued the charges were “doomed to fail”.

She said the alleged incident had been captured by closed-circuit television camera and argued this footage showed it would not have been possible for her client’s hands to have been near the teenager’s breasts.

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Ms Hamon also said the teenager had discussed the alleged incident with many other people before formally making her allegations to police. She argued it was “highly likely these discussions have infected her memory”.

“We believe the [teenager] is honestly mistaken in her memory of the event,” Ms Hamon said.

After the prosecutor offered no evidence for the charge, it was formally dismissed by Magistrate Alexandra Burt.

She also made an order for costs to be agreed between the parties.

The 67-year-old Mr Brooke has worked as a police officer with the New Zealand Police for over 30 years.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call Triple Zero.

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