Grove Road: Disclosure

From Newshub comes a new investigative podcast, Grove Road.

This is the story of the murder of Arthur Easton and the arrest of Alan Hall, a man with no alibi or answers.

But it's also a story about our system of justice - the power and trust we give to police and prosecutors… and their ability to find the truth.

Episode six looks at the aftermath of Alan Hall's guilty verdict. A witness said he was pressured by police to change his statement.

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Alan Hall was found guilty in 1986 of murdering Arthur Easton by a jury who, as it turns out, did not have all the information to make their decision.

On 14 October, 1985, Detective Constable Bruce Hesketh interviewed a witness who said he saw a suspicious Maori man running near the crime scene where Arthur Easton was killed.

But neither Alan’s lawyers, nor the judge, nor the jury ever got to hear the witness’s description of the man being Maori.

The witness’s statement presented a problem for detectives zeroing in on 5ft7 Pakeha man, Alan Hall.

The witness’s description of a Maori man was removed by the two detectives of the Arthur Easton homicide investigation, after they made the witness undergo an experiment to determine if his sighting was reliable.

The witness was then made to sign the statement he was to read in court, before he even got a chance to read it in full. He did not know at the time that the word ‘Maori’ had been deleted from the text.

This is not allowed, according to Auckland University Associate Professor Scott Optican.

Had the witness been able to tell the jury that the man he saw was Maori, the outcome of the trial may have been different.

Grove Road was created in partnership with Newshub Nation, which is made with help from NZ On Air.

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