It would be difficult to think of a more publicised case about the New Zealand police in modern times than this one. As many will know, Louise Nicholas accused a group of policeman of repeatedly pack raping her, and of using a baton to injure her further. What happened after the accusations were made was diabolical. Police cover-ups for mates; arguably deliberate sabotage of court cases; and the determination of a single woman who decided to not remain a victim for the rest of her life.
As you read Louise Nicholas: My Story, it’s easy to see why some people concluded (inappropriately) that Louise was a willing party. But those conclusions were based on ignorance and an immature system that was unable to protect the public from what was at times predatory.
Another key contributor to this story is Philip Kitchin, an investigative journalist whose employers (The Dominion Post and TVNZ) gave him a lot of time to fully come to terms with this case and eventually uncover the truth and injustices of the trial.
Louise Nicholas is a brave woman – that is undisputed – but the extent to which she has devoted her life to the cause of victims of abuse is staggering. On first reflection, it seems a shame that the cop to whom she first reported these offences went to prison for his part in the investigation of the men who were ultimately acquitted of the crimes. However, this is the right outcome. As the evidence in the book unfolds, you realise that had Louise reported her crimes to a different officer, in a more enlightened police force, the outcome may have been very different. Very, very different.
Louise Nicholas: My Story chronicles the maturing of the NZ police force, and the two brave and tenacious people who helped shape that maturity. Oh yes, and a very, very supportive husband, Ross, that has stood through Louise through this whole sorry saga.