10 Nov 2009

Former policeman denies bribing prostitute

6:27 pm on 10 November 2009

A prostitute who says she had sex with a police officer in a patrol car despite not wanting to, says she did not report it as she did not think the police would believe her.

The woman has been giving evidence in the High Court at Christchurch in the trial of Nathan Connolly, who resigned from the police last year.

Mr Connolly faces one charge of bribery and two of coercing a prostitute to have sex with him. He denies the charges and says the woman just did not ask him for payment.

The woman told the court about the night in December 2006 when Mr Connolly pulled her car over and found she had no warrant or registration.

She said Mr Connolly said that, and her learner licence status, could result in a $1000 fine.

Instead, the Crown said, they drove north of Christchurch and had sexual intercourse in the police patrol car, for which Mr Connolly did not pay.

Too scared, witness says

The woman said she was too scared to ask for money because Mr Connolly was a police officer. She said she also felt trapped.

He did not pay for any subsequent sexual services over the next year.

Mr Connolly was a constable with the traffic unit in Christchurch when the offences are alleged to have happened.

The Crown said he had regularly used the prostitute for two years without her knowing his occupation.

The Crown said Mr Connolly used his position to check the woman's driving status previously so he could use the information against her

Earlier, Mr Connolly's lawyer Jonathan Eaton told the jury that what his client did was unprofessional and immoral but was not a sex-for-tickets scenario.

He said Mr Connolly's inappropriate relationship with the prostitute was not a crime and he was not guilty of bribery.

Mr Eaton said the lack of payment for sex was never discussed.