Police officer shooting: Woman accused of being accessory after the fact granted electronically monitored bail

A woman charged in connection to the alleged murder of a young police officer in the Auckland suburb of Massey has been granted bail.

Constable Matthew Hunt was killed during a routine traffic stop on Reynella Drive on June 19.

Natalie Jane Bracken is charged with being an accessory after the fact of the alleged murder.

It is alleged she assisted the man accused of murder by obtaining a car and driving him away from the scene.

Eli Bob Sauni Epiha has been charged with murder over the death of the 28-year-old Hunt.

Epiha also faces charges of attempting to murder another police officer and wounding a member of the public when he allegedly crashed his vehicle trying to evade the patrol car.

Both Epiha and Bracken have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.

Today Bracken applied in the High Court at Auckland for electronically monitored bail.

Justice Palmer granted the application with a 24-hour curfew and said she was to go directly to the approved address in the company of a specified person without unnecessary stops.

Bracken is not to leave the address without approval from the electronic monitoring bail team.

At Bracken’s first appearance in the Waitakere District Court, Judge Brandt Shortland refused to grant her name suppression – despite claims she received a “barrage of threats” and was in danger.

Judge Shortland noted that her identity was “all over social media” after police released her name and photograph in a bid to find her.

“Your name’s been out there … The reality is it’s all over social media,” he said. “Like feathers in the wind, it’s very difficult to put all those back.”

That decision was appealed to the High Court but Justice Venning also refused name suppression.


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