Rapist will stay locked up

By Mike Dinsdale

A Somali refugee who raped a woman in Dargaville after inviting himself into her home has been jailed for four years and nine months.

But Jamal Rashid Mohamed will be kept as a patient in a secure mental health unit after serving his sentence because of his mental state.

The 30-year-old appeared for sentence in Whangarei District Court yesterday after earlier admitting rape.

Mohamed was first found guilty in early 2009 of raping the woman in her Dargaville home on April 21, 2003, after he went into her home uninvited.

He was sentenced to eight years' jail but the Court of Appeal set aside his conviction in June 2010 and remitted the case back to the District Court.

Mohamed was then found unfit to plead and remanded to the Mason Clinic.

Yesterday sentencing judge Keith De Ridder said Mohamed had responded well to treatment and was now able to stand trial but he pleaded guilty to the charge.

Judge De Ridder said the rape has had long-term effects on the woman, who was now unable to hold down a job, was anxious at home and when out, and had difficulty sleeping.

"Even now, 10 years later, she is finding it difficult to deal with these issues," the judge said.

The complainant told the court during Mohamed's 2009 trial that he had gone into her flat uninvited after she refused to bake him a cake. Once inside, he had kept asking her about the cake before he had started kissing her, she said. He had then asked her to go to her bedroom and she had complied, thinking Mohamed would get violent if she refused.

She had been left shocked, shaken and numb after being raped, she said. Mohamed had maintained throughout the trial they had had consensual sex.

Judge De Ridder said yesterday that Mohamed was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and had been suffering from it since he was 18.

"Although there might have been some potential for (a defence of) insanity at the time of his arrest you have decided to enter a guilty plea," he said.

Judge De Ridder sentenced Mohamed to seven years' jail then reduced it to four years nine months for mitigating factors, including the guilty plea. After the sentence ends Mohamed would be kept in a mental health unit under the Mental Health Act.

Mohamed had been forced to leave Somalia during civil war there in 1998.

- Northern Advocate

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