R v Mance [2018] NZDC 14528

Published 16 May 2019

Pre-trial application for oral evidence order — admissibility of statement to police — reliability of statement — sexual violation by rape — breach of protection order — possession of cannabis — unfit to stand trial — fitness to stand trial — Criminal Procedure Act 2011 ss 9, 10, 90, 92 & 93 — Evidence Act 2006, s 28 — R v Te Moni [2009] NZCA 560 — Ruka v R [2011] NZCA 404. The defendant faced four charges and pleaded not guilty. Concerns about the defendant's mental health led to an assessment of his fitness to stand trial. Two reports found that the defendant was mentally impaired and unfit to stand trial. A hearing was directed to determine whether the evidence against the defendant was sufficient to prove guilt. Counsel for the defendant sought an order requiring the complainant to give oral evidence at the trial, however the Crown opposed this on the grounds that the defendant had made admissions during his evidential interview. The Crown therefore argued that the complainant's credibility was not relied on. The court found that the s 10 hearing is the only opportunity for the defendant to test the prosecution case before the charge which he faces results in potentially significant consequences for him if he is found unfit to stand trial, with reference to the Court of Appeal decision, "Te Moni". Having reflected on the evidence and submissions of counsel, the court was satisfied that the interests of justice require that the complainant give oral evidence at the s 10 hearing. A hearing to determine the admissibility of the defendant's statement and the s 10 hearing was to be held at a later date. Judgment Date: 19 July 2018 * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *