19 Sep 2013

No conviction for assault by top cop

7:30 pm on 19 September 2013

A top police officer who assaulted two teenage boys while he was off-duty has been discharged without conviction.

Former Manurewa area commander Inspector Richard Wilkie pleaded guilty in July to kicking and swearing at two teenage boys he caught drinking in a park with his 14-year-old daughter in April.

Mr Wilkie was not working but had been called by other police officers about midnight.

In the Auckland District Court on Thursday Judge Brooke Gibson said Mr Wilkie had until now led an exemplary life and was very remorseful about what had happened.

Judge Gibson said the effect of a conviction on Mr Wilkie's career and personal life would be out of all proportion to the assaults, which he said were minor.

A police spokesperson says Mr Wilkie is no longer the area commander but is still serving as a police officer.

Mr Wilkie's lawyer Richard Earwaker told Checkpoint a discharge is the right result.

"It's been hard for him and his family and he's acted very responsibly right from the start. Obviously he's very remorseful; he feels for the young complainants but yes, he's very relieved at the outcome."

Mr Earwaker says Mr Wilkie has been demoted and faces an employment investigation into the assaults.