Name suppression for man accused of Porirua sexual assault

By Jimmy Ellingham

The 40-year-old appeared briefly appeared in Porirua District Court today. Photo / File
The 40-year-old appeared briefly appeared in Porirua District Court today. Photo / File

A man arrested for allegedly forcing his way into a woman's Porirua home and subjecting her to a prolonged sexual attack will keep his name secret for now.

The 40-year-old, from the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville, briefly appeared in Porirua District Court today. He stood clasping his hands in front of his police-issue blue boiler suit as he looked at the floor with his head bowed.

There was a delay of a few seconds getting him into the courtroom as he initially wanted to keep the boiler suit's hood over his head.

Duty lawyer Louise Brown successfully asked for temporary name suppression, meaning applications to film or photograph the man were turned down.

Ms Brown said suppression should be granted to allow the man's elderly parents to be informed. The man's father was in ill-health, she said.

Prosecutor Lisa Thomson said police would oppose continuing suppression and were in favour of publishing the man's image, a break from the neutral stance the prosecution normally adopts.

The man faces eight charges over last Friday's attack on a 65-year-old woman who lived alone.

It's alleged she was subjected to an assault lasting hours after her attacker knocked on her Waihemo St door claiming he was looking for his daughter, at about 6am.

The man entered no pleas to three charges of sexual violation and one each of rape, making the woman unconscious with intent to commit rape, threatening to kill, detaining her without consent and unlawfully entering her property.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

He didn't make a bid for bail and Judge Denys Barry kept him in custody until his next appearance next month. The man's name is suppressed until then.

Police launched a huge manhunt after the assault, including an extensive door-to-door push for information.

Kapiti Mana area commander Paul Basham said yesterday the alleged attacker was tracked down through "good old-fashioned police work".

The victim meanwhile was being comforted by family members.

"She has been incredibly brave and is holding up as well as can be expected," a police statement says.

- NZ Herald

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