R v Kuka [2017] NZDC 18987

Published 13 March 2018

Application to adduce propensity evidence — evidence of previous convictions for threatening behaviour — Evidence Act 2006, s 43 — propensity rule — Mahomed v R [2011] 3 NZLR 145 — R v Tui [2010] NZCA 243 — Rei v R [2012] NZCA 389 — Vuletich v R [2010] NZCA 102. The crown sought to have evidence of a defendant's prior conviction for threatening behaviour admitted. The crown argued that the previous conviction was relevant as it addressed the issues at trial. The court found that there were three common ingredients between the previous offending and the charges before the court: the physical altercation; threats to maim by use of a knife to the head area; and the presence of a knife to reinforce the threats. The court found that the probative value of that evidence was "comparatively high" and would outweigh the potential prejudice to a jury that the court found could be managed with an appropriate direction. The court granted the Crown's application to admit the defendant's previous conviction as propensity evidence. Judgment Date: 25 August 2017.