Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Rape-accused policeman served in city

The Evening Standard
February 3, 2004
Rape-accused policeman served in city
by Don Kavanagh

Two of the policemen involved in the Louise Nicholas rape inquiry were colleagues in Palmerston North in the late 1970s and had a reputation for womanising. Bob Schollum and Trevor Clayton were colleagues and friends in the city during that time and subsequently teamed up again in Taneatua, in the Bay of Plenty, and Rotorua, the Manawatu Standard has been told. Police Commissioner Rob Robinson was also stationed at Palmerston North at the same time as Mr Schollum and Mr Clayton.

Mr Schollum, along with Assistant Commissioner Clint Rickards and former police officer Brad Shipton, is accused of being involved in the gang rape of Rotorua woman Louise Nicholas in 1986.

Mr Schollum allegedly violated the woman with a police baton. Mrs Nicholas said the men frequently had sex with her against her will. Mr Schollum subsequently left the police and became a car salesman. Mr Shipton, who has also resigned from the police, is now a Tauranga city councillor.

Mr Clayton, who died last year, has been described by Mrs Nicholas as a family friend whom she confided in, in the hope that he could convince his police friends to leave her alone. According to a news story at the weekend, Mr Clayton admitted that he had done nothing about the allegations and would lie to protect his mates. The details were recorded in an interview made during an investigation into Mrs Nicholas' complaints in 1980s.

A source told the Standard yesterday that Mr Clayton and Mr Schollum, along with a third officer, were close mates. "They were like the Three Musketeers," the source said. "They were renowned for it (womanising) and everyone knew about them. But it's a bit unfair to compare things back then with how things are today. Things were different. "There were women who were particularly attracted to men in uniform, so there was plenty of scope." The third officer, who also left the police and became a nurse, was investigated in Taneatua in the early 1980s over a sexual violation, but the charges were dropped.

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