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Nicholas, Johnson Could Get Payout Over Police Snooping

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Louise Nicholas. Pic: NZPA
Louise Nicholas. Pic: NZPA

Wellington, March 8 NZPA - High profile police sex abuse complainants Louise Nicholas and Donna Johnson could be in line for compensation after police misused their files.

A formal inquiry was ordered last June after the women complained that police staff had looked at their police files many times, apparently without cause. Police must have a legitimate reason to view files.

The women and their lawyers are now in talks with police to resolve the issue, the Sunday Star Times reported.

Neither police nor Ms Johnson's lawyer, Steve Rollo, would discuss a payout.

"Police have been working with Donna to address these complaints," Rollo told the newspaper.

"These discussions are normally confidential."

Police would say only that the "process is not yet completed".

Ms Nicholas was the first to complain of sexual misconduct by former police officers Brad Shipton, Bob Schollum and former assistant commissioner Clint Rickards.

In 2006 the trio were found not guilty of historic claims of raping and sexually assaulting Ms Nicholas.

When Ms Nicholas asked for details of her own file last April, she found it had been accessed 42 times, although most appeared to be in relation to the police investigation.

She yesterday declined to comment on a payout and said she was "happy to sit and wait" until the investigation was complete.

Ms Johnson, a Tauranga resident, alleges she was sexually violated by former policeman Brad Shipton. She complained to a Papamoa police officer in 1995, but has been told there is insufficient evidence to lay charges.

Last year she discovered her police file had been viewed 72 times, including by Steven Hales, the brother of one of Shipton's co-accused in another case, Warren Hales.

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