Police v Alletson [2018] NZDC 2665

Published 13 May 2019

Admission of hearsay evidence — offering documents in evidence without calling witness — Evidence Act 2006, ss 4, 16,19 & 130. The prosecution applied to offer a hearsay statement from a witness who resided overseas. Hearsay statements contained in business records are admissible if the person who supplied the statement is unavailable to act as a witness or if no useful purpose would be served by their appearance as a witness. The police submitted that there would be undue expense in arranging the witness to travel to New Zealand or give evidence by way of AVL. The police also submitted that no useful purpose would be served by requiring the witness to give evidence. Counsel for the defendant disputed that. The Judge highlighted the defendant's right under s 4 of the Evidence Act to offer evidence to support his defence, including cross-examining a witness called by the other party. The Judge found there was no reason evidence could not be given by AVL. There was also no proof that the statement was contained in business records. The application was refused. Judgment Date: 15 February 2018.