Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Lucy Akatere



Robbery (includes armed robbery)


18 months

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:

New Zealand

County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Lucy Akatere was a codefendant of Krishla Fuataha and Tania Vini. The three girls were wrongly convicted of aggravated robbery in August 2000 based on the false testimony of a 13-year old girl that the three girls helped her assault a 16-year-old girl near an Auckland area mall in 1999. Another male "eyewitness" had falsely corroborated the false story. The defense of the three girls, who were 14 and 15 at the time of the crime, was that at the time of the robbery they were nowhere near the crime scene. After their convictions, Vini and Akatere were sentenced to 18 months in prison, and Fuataha to 2 years in prison. After the three teenagers were imprisoned at Auckland's Mount Eden Women's Prison, the girl and the male witness both recanted their testimony as false and their alibi of not being at the mall was corroborated. Based on the new evidence the three petitioned to vacate their convictions, and pending the outcome of their petion they were released after seven months in prison. In October 2001 "Justices Bruce Robertson, Thomas Gault and Peter Salmon, who overturned the conviction, told the girls they had the court's sympathy. Justice Gault said the wrongful conviction "raises questions of conduct by the police, which is a serious matter and must be properly investigated"." (Auckland, NZ, 10-18-01). The three filed claims for ex gratia compensation from New Zealand's government. In December 2004 the government offered ex gratia compensation to Vini and Akatere of NZL$135,000, and NZL$137,500 to Fuataha. All three turned down the offers. After two more years of legal wrangling, On October 10, 2006 it was announced by New Zealand's Justice Minister Mark Burton that a settlement had been reached with Vini to receive, NZL$176,621.36; Akatere to receive NZL$162,830.36; and, Fuataha to receive NZL$165,330."

Conviction Caused By:

False eyewitness testimony of two witnesses.

Innocence Proved By:

"Retraction of testimony by two "eyewitnesses""

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

" NZL$162,830.36 (Oct 2006, NZL govt.)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

""Police apologise to wrongly jailed girls," Naomi Larkin (staff), The New Zealand Herald, Oct. 18, 2001."

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

""Wrongful conviction of teenage girls." Thursday, 18 October 2001, Press Release: New Zealand Government"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"Girls accept compensation for wrongful imprisonment, By Staff writer, New Zealand Herald, October 10, 2006"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

""Robinson apologises to girls: Auckland: Police apologised yesterday to three girls who spent seven months in jail for a crime they did not commit," Otago Daily Times, New Zealand, Oct. 18, 2001."

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"Three Teens Offered Over $160k each, NZ Government Press Release, 12-02-2004"

Information Location 5:


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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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