Updated: Woman fights armed invader

By Kristin Edge

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10am UPDATE: Police have arrested a teenager after a woman fought off an attacker in her Ruakaka homeearly yesterday morning.


Detective Seargeant Shane Pilmer said a 17-year-old had been arrested last night and would appear on the Whangarei District Court today.


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A 40-year-old Northland woman needed surgery for a deep gash to her hand after she fended off a knife-wielding intruder who had climbed through her bedroom window.

Police detectives were yesterday interviewing Ruakaka residents near Wahanui Walkway after the early-morning attack on the woman, whose young child was sleeping in another room.

The incident comes two weeks after a man tried to sexually assault a 15-year-old girl in her Marsden Point Rd home.

The man struggled with the girl but he was scared off by a neighbour leaving home next door.

No arrest has been made in that case.

Head of both investigations Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer was not linking the two attacks but said they had similarities and that was concerning. Police were unsure of the motive behind the latest attack.

The woman had been woken by a noise outside her window about 4am yesterday. She had got up to see what was happening and found a man with a bandanna around his face climbing through the bedroom window.

Mr Pilmer said a struggle ensued on the bedroom floor when the man produced a knife. Both the woman's hands were cut and surgery for a deep cut on one hand had been scheduled at Whangarei Hospital yesterday.

The woman managed to fend off the attacker, who had fled out the bedroom window.

The woman had then raised the alarm.

"She was very shaken up and very distraught. This could easily have been a lot worse. During the scuffle, she could easily have been fatally stabbed," Mr Pilmer said.

A police dog and handler were called but were unable to find a trail. St John ambulance officers were called to the house and transferred the woman to hospital.

The attacker has been described as a male Maori, of slim build with short hair, aged in his 20s or possibly younger. At the time, he was wearing a white T-shirt, black jeans and fawn-coloured shoes.

He also had a brown or fawn-coloured bandanna around his face.

Mr Pilmer said detectives were determined to track down the man to ensure there were no further attacks.

In the meantime, he urged home owners in the Ruakaka area to make sure windows and doors were securely locked at night.

He called on anyone who may have noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the Wahanui Walkway area late on Thursday or early on Friday to contact police.

On June 22, a man, described as a male Maori in his 30s, walked down the driveway of a Marsden Point Rd house, knocked on the door and spoke to a girl about 9.45am.

After speaking to him, the girl closed the door and turned to walk back inside the house. But the man pulled the door open and entered the house.

Mr Pilmer said there was a struggle between the girl and the man - the girl ending up on the ground.

The man had then tried to sexually assault the teenager but someone had left a neighbouring property and disturbed the attacker.

The girl had raised the alarm with a friend who rang police. She had sustained cuts and bruising and was seen by ambulance staff at a nearby house.

If you can help call Mr Pilmer directly on 09 4304589 or anonymously on 0800 Crimestoppers.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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