Man denies sexually assaulting pensioner

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File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A Hastings man has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the sexual assault of an 87-year-old woman in her home.

The 29-year-old man appeared in Hastings District Court this morning where he entered not guilty pleas to three charges of unlawful sexual connection.

A charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was withdrawn, as was a charge of burglary.

A charge of injuring with intent to injure was laid in place of the wounding charge, to which a not guilty plea was also entered.

The man was granted continued interim name suppression and media applications to take photographs were declined.

Lawyer Tony Snell said an initial psychiatric report indicated the man had "clear and recognised psychiatric issues" but did not declare him insane.

He said he would be seeking a further report.

Mr Snell said full written submissions backed by psychiatric reports would be filed at the man's next hearing if permanent name suppression is sought.

He was arrested last year after the alleged assault on the elderly woman as she ventured outside to check her mail about midday on November 7.

The man has been in custody since his arrest.

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