Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Rapist Devon Bond is jailed for 13 years after being unmasked by a DNA match 20 years on

The victim of a violent sex predator, who for 20 years had got away with her brutal rape, today branded him "smug" and a "nasty and evil man" as he was jailed for almost 13 years with a minimum term of imprisonment of eight years.

Former national wrestler Devon Charles Bond, 49, had been released from jail in 1998 after kidnapping a North Canterbury woman with the intention of raping her in 1995.

But only Bond knew at the time that he had already raped, and not been caught, when he broke into a Christchurch woman's home on May 9, 1994 and raped her at knifepoint.

For two decades, Bond lived his dark secret until he got into a drunken fight with police after a boozy work night out in December 2014.

During his arrest, officers took a DNA sample which matched samples held at Environmental Science and Research (ESR) that were taken in 1994.

Bond was then arrested and charged with the cold case rape, sexual violation and abduction.

He pleaded guilty at the High Court in Christchurch in May this year to six charges, including two charges of sexual violation and rape, abduction, aggravated burglary and assault with a weapon.

Today during his sentencing, the court heard a harrowing victim impact statement, where the victim explained the long-standing toll his vicious assault has had on her.

Since police told her last year that Bond's DNA had matched her attack and rape, and told her that he'd been convicted for a later nasty attack, it has bothered her "just how smug [Bond] must have felt".

"You must have thought you must have got away with it," said the victim, who has permanent name suppression.

"But you didn't. Science has caught you and there's no way out for you."

The victim, who was 42 at the time of the May 1994 rape, wonders if there are other victims, as yet undiscovered, that Bond still feels smug about.

She said Bond had no right to ruin women's lives, violate her, and "change my life forever".

The victim wondered whether it was his ego, along with his physical size and strength, that made him think he could do what he did.

She also thought he was "arrogant" and had "no empathy or regard for other people".

"The sheer physical terror and the fear you created in me that night was just the start of it," she said.

"It took a long time for the sharp edges of these realities to fade just a little."

Her "new normal" means she doesn't go outside after dark, she carries a panic alarm in her hand from car to office, restaurant or theatre.

Even during the day, she is "very cautious".

At the slightest noise inside or outside her home, she is put on edge, while she "really freaks out" if the telephone line goes dead.

While she says Bond hasn't ruined her life, because she has been determined that wouldn't happen, she feels he has "stolen my freedom and rights to live a normal and happy life".

"You are a nasty and evil man who needs to be taken off the streets for the longest possible time," she concluded.

The Crown today pushed for a sentence of preventive detention.

Prosecutor Claire Boshier described the case as "one of the most serious instances of rape that can come before the court".

Police sketch of Devon Charles Bond when police were hunting him for the 1995 rape. Photo / Supplied
Police sketch of Devon Charles Bond when police were hunting him for the 1995 rape. Photo / Supplied

She pointed to the predatory, violent nature of the attack and the fact that Bond had not yet undertaken any treatment for his sexual offending.

Boshier said Bond displays narcissistic and anti-social traits who is at a medium to high risk of sexual reoffending.

Defence counsel Tony Greig said Bond is willing to meet the victim for a restorative justice conference at any point in the future.

For the last 18 years he has led a "pro-social life", Greig said.

Justice Gerald Nation said Bond has done nothing to accept responsibility or to make amends for the 1994 offending.

The judge was satisfied that Bond's offending met the criteria for a minimum period of imprisonment.

He highlighted his early violent tendencies, including an instance when he set fire to a family cat.

Bond was put into the care of Child, Youth and Family before the age of 10 because of his habits of stealing, vandalism and running away.

The court heard that Bond's offending came shortly after the end of his wrestling career and the end of his first long-term relationship.

He then drank too much, fell in with gangs, and became a standover guy for them.

The judge carefully considered whether Bond should be sentenced indefinitely under a term of preventive detention.

But the availability to the Department of Corrections to be able to apply for an extended supervision order (ESO) "becomes crucial", the judge said.

"It is what tips the balance by the finest of margins in enabling me to impose a finite term of imprisonment rather than a sentence of preventive detention," Justice Nation said.

He jailed Bond for 12 years, 9 months with a minimum term of imprisonment of eight years.

However, he said that Bond had a lot of rehabilitation work to do, and urged him to participate in a treatment programme.

"You should want to do that given the serious harm you did to your victims."

Bond was born on October 28, 1966.

Raised in North Canterbury, he attended Rangiora High School and was well-known in the Leithfield and Waikuku beach areas.

A rugby player and talented all-round sportsman, he would become a top wrestler, representing New Zealand at world championships and Commonwealth wrestling championships in Canada.

But there was always something about Bond that made many people - especially females - nervous, uncomfortable.

Some of the women who grew up around him found him lecherous, "creepy" and "pervy".

On April 17, 1994, he was arrested for assaulting a woman in Rangiora.

In May that year, police records show he was living in the coastal Christchurch suburb of New Brighton.

About 1am on May 9, 1994, a 42-year-old woman who had just moved into her new Christchurch home was woken by a loud click.

In the darkness, she thought there had been a power cut.

But the click she'd heard was Bond switching her mains power off manually in the garage.

The woman got out of bed. As she stood in the hallway, Bond burst through the internal garage door armed with a knife with a 12-15cm blade. He was wearing dark clothing and a mask or balaclava over his face.

"What do you think you are doing?" the terrified woman asked.

"Keep quiet," Bond said as he marched her back to her bedroom.

He held the knife against her throat, bound her arms behind her back with a length of cord he'd cut from her clothesline, and put a pillowcase over her head.

"Why are you doing this?" the woman pleaded.

"You bitches are all the same," Bond replied, before he sexually assaulted and raped the woman.

Afterwards, he emptied the woman's purse, ripped the telephone cord from its socket, and told her: "If I get caught, I'll be back."

He disappeared into the night.

They nearly got him.

The police intelligence system linked Bond to a light-blue Holden panel van on August 3, 1994, three months after the attack.

He later became its registered owner in October 1998.

Two witnesses contacted the original investigating detectives to say they had seen a light-blue Holden ute parked near the victim's house the night before. One said it was gone in the morning.

A police dog handler had tracked from the woman's house, across a farm paddock, to the exact location the van had been spotted.

Muddy footprints were found inside and outside the woman's home.

While they never led to Bond, he didn't stay under the radar for long.

Every morning, Bond's second victim, a 37-year-old woman, jogged her familiar loop through willow trees lining the Ashley River stopbank.

She was unaware of a man crouched in the bushes, watching her through binoculars.
Bond did this twice, hoping to see her go home and watch her undress.

On the third occasion, on May 30, 1995 her route veered towards where he was hiding.
Rather than be discovered, he decided to attack her.

The burly wrestler leaped up, grabbed her and punched her five times in the face.

She screamed as he dragged her 180m to his car, hands around her neck, telling her to be quiet.

He pushed her into the car and started driving.

Believing she was going to be raped, she desperately tried to get out but he restrained her.

Bond stopped the car, removed her top, and used it to tie her hands behind her back.

She tried to get away again but he caught her.

He pushed her into the boot and drove off.

The woman - who, like Bond's first victim, has permanent name suppression - untied herself, managed to release the boot lock and threw herself out of the moving vehicle.

Bloodied and bruised from the attack and the fall from the speeding car, she ran across a paddock to a house to get help.

Bond drove on, unaware of her escape.

Police caught up with him weeks later. He admitted attacking the woman with the intention of raping her.

He was jailed for nine years at Christchurch District Court in July 1995.

After his release from jail, it appears Bond went straight.

He had a stable partner and child.

Since 2008, he had been a highly-valued site foreman at a Canterbury construction company.

Some friends and workmates knew about his conviction for the 1995 abduction. But nobody knew his dark secret - until he had too much to drink at a work night out.

December 6, 2014, had been a good night. Bond and his workmates had watched a comrade fight at a charity boxing event in Hornby, western Christchurch.

Afterwards, they kept drinking at Temps Bar & Casino.

They'd piled into a nearby car park where the boss was phoning taxis to take them all home.

While they were waiting, Bond and a workmate started play-fighting.

It attracted the attention of passing police officers.

Concerned about the group's rowdy behaviour, they suggested the men move on.

Bond and some of his mates took exception to what they viewed as being unreasonableness by police.

Officers were threatened, taunted and insulted.

Bond told police, "You're f****** nothing," "I'm going to smash you"; and "I am going to kill you pig."

Two of Bond's workmates were arrested.

Bond, described as being "very intoxicated and very hostile", lunged at an officer. During the ensuing struggle, the pair smashed through a window of the Hornby Law Centre.

As both men lay on the ground, Bond then moved his left foot in a stomping action to hit the constable on the head.

A judge would later find, beyond reasonable doubt, that Bond behaved in a disorderly manner, resisted arrest, and assaulted a police officer in the execution of his duty.

Given he was arrested on summary offence matters, legislation introduced in 2012 meant police could take a DNA sample from Bond.

It was run through the vast National DNA Profile Databank and matched samples held at Environmental Science and Research (ESR) that were taken in 1994.

His past finally caught up with him.

When he was interviewed by police in February last year, Bond said it was all "bulls***" and refused to comment further.

On the morning his trial was due to start at the High Court in Christchurch on May 2, Bond entered guilty pleas.

Friends and workmates had been in court to support a friend they thought had been wrongly charged.

They were stunned when Bond suddenly admitted to being a predatory rapist.

"It was total shock. He'd always said it was lies ... and we all believed him. He deserves everything coming to him," one former friend said.

- NZ Herald

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