R v Harrison [2018] NZDC 14039

Published 13 June 2019

Voice evidence — Hohipa v R [2015] NZCA 73 — Criminal Procedure Act 2011, s 101 — Evidence Act 2006, ss 4, 7, 8, 24 & 46. The defendant faced charges of aggravated robbery and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle, the charges arising from the robbery of a petrol station. In this pretrial matter she objected to the Crown's application to admit voice evidence at trial. The relevant witness had locked himself in a back room of the petrol station when he realised a robbery was taking place, but said that he had heard a female voice coming from the shop during the robbery. The defendant argued that this evidence was voice identification evidence and therefore could only be admitted if the prosecution could prove that it was a reliable identification. The Crown argued that the witness was not claiming that the voice he heard belonged to any specific person, and therefore the evidence was not voice identification evidence. The Court agreed that the witness's evidence did not identify the defendant; it merely illustrated the witness's experience of the robbery. The Court held that the evidence was admissible. Judgment Date: 12 July 2018.