Alleged police kidnapping case 'not Romeo and Juliet'

The lawyer for senior police officer Inspector Hurimoana Dennis has opened his case at the High Court in Auckland.

Inspector Dennis and his co-accused Sergeant Vaughan Perry are standing trial after allegedly carrying out an elaborate "mock arrest" of a 17-year-old in an attempt to sever his ties with a 15-year-old girl in 2015.

The boy's relatives didn't approve of the relationship and called in their family friend, Inspector Dennis, to help.

The teen says he was taken to the Auckland Central Police Station and cornered by Dennis.

He claims he was given two options before he was locked in a cell: he could either stay in New Zealand and be charged with statutory rape, or move to Australia and start a new life.

Throughout the trial the court heard how the boy's family didn't want him seeing the 15-year-old, and feared he was having underage sex.

However, he continued to visit her, at one point even climbing out a two-storey toilet window and running 30 minutes to do so.

But Dennis' lawyer Steve Bonnar QC told the jury the case isn't a love story.

"It's not Romeo and Juliet, this case is about a young man who at 17 years of age was by his own admission to his whanau, committing a crime. The crime of unlawful sexual conduct with a person under the age of 16."

Bonnar argued his client was only trying to help the young man, and said the issue centred around consent.

"The defence is that the young man did consent to visiting the cells. He knew at all times it was a visit because Inspector Dennis told him he wasn't staying there or remaining there.

"[He told the teen] it was part of a 'choices and consequences' conversation. It was a 'here's where you could end up, if you don't sort it out'."

Bonnar said consent wasn't only verbal but could also be given through action. He said his client didn't know that the boy wasn't consenting.

"He didn't in any overt way indicate that he wasn't consenting. The boy didn't suggest [while giving evidence] that he did anything to suggest his lack of consent."

The trial continues.