Mongrel Mob pack rapists jailed

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Two Mongrel Mob members have been sentenced to a combined 21 years in prison for a pack rape in which they "preyed upon" a drunk 21-year-old woman.

Adam Joseph Karetu, 24, and Gene Skipper, 39, were found guilty by a jury last month in the Napier District Court. They had faced charges that included rape, unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault.

In November 2010, the victim had been upset and drinking alone in her car in Cornwall Park when Karetu befriended her. He began drinking with her and said he knew where to get drugs. Driving her car, he picked up three people, one of whom was Skipper, and the sexual assault took place at a riverside location.

Karetu remained in the driver's seat while the assault occurred, but faced similar charges because he facilitated the offending.

Although Skipper denied his involvement, his DNA was found on the victim's bra.

In sentencing, Judge Tony Adeane said Skipper was a gang member and hadn't shown any sign of "growing out of his gang loyalties", while Karetu's actions had been "presumably designed to curry favours with more senior members of the gang".

The other two offenders were unknown and this could be due to gang ethics.

Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said it had been a sinister offence.

"This is a gang rape, both literally because the accused are gang members, but both numerically because there were a number of them involved," he said.

"Mr Karetu facilitated this offending from the beginning to the end and on that basis he is equally culpable."

Skipper was sentenced to 12 years for rape, with a minimum non-parole period of six years and Karetu received nine years for the rape, with a minimum of five. Both also received terms of four years for unlawful sexual connection and two for the indecent assault, served concurrently. Before sentencing, Karetu's counsel Eric Forster had asked for some distinction in his client's sentencing due to the differing roles the two men had.

Hastings Police Detective Glen Yule said: "Police are very happy with the result, as it sends a very clear message to gang members that they are not invincible and that the community will not accept this sort of behaviour. "The community should feel a little safer knowing that these two offenders are off the streets for a long time. Police hope that this sentencing is a warning to young men wishing to join gangs - that this is what could be waiting for them once they enter the gang environment."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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