11 Mar 2011

Man accused of shooting officer a liar, court told

12:46 pm on 11 March 2011

A man accused of shooting a police officer was described as a liar as the prosecution ended its case in the High Court in Auckland on Thursday.

Neshanderan Rajgopaul is accused of attempting to murder Constable Jeremy Snow to protect a stash of methamphetamine and stolen goods in South Auckland in December 2009.

The Crown says Mr Snow and his partner spotted a car they thought was being broken into down a long driveway in Papatoetoe and went to investigate.

Mr Rajgopaul admits being present when Mr Snow was shot in his legs, an arm and his chest, but claims someone else pulled the trigger.

In her closing address, Crown prosecutor Rachael Reed told jurors on Thursday that Mr Snow was shot by a man who took his bravado from the guns he carried.

She said Mr Rajgopaul was fuelled by methamphetamine and his ego when he carried out the shooting.

The court was told the accused was lit up in the glare of Mr Snow's torchlight and easily identifiable as he went down on one knee and fired in the officer's direction.

Ms Reed said the accused has constantly changed his story and admitted lying to police about the shooting.

Earlier, a forensic expert told the court that gunshot residue found on Mr Rajgopaul's hand after the shooting is not proof that he fired a gun.

Appearing as a defence witness on Thursday, forensic scientist Sean Doyle said the particles could equally have come from firing a gun or from being close to somebody who did.

Mr Doyle said gunshot residue can travel up to three metres from a weapon when it is fired, and particles could also linger in a cloud for up to eight minutes.

The defence is due to sum up its case on Friday.