Peter Niko has been sentenced to 11 years and six months jail after a shocking sex attack this year.

The 40-year-old Johnsonville man pleaded guilty to a prolonged attack on a 65-year-old woman in her home.

The charges include seven of sexual violation, making the woman unconscious with the intent to commit rape, and threatening to kill. Niko's minimum non-parole is seven years and seven months.

Sentencing was moved to the High Court in Wellington, to allow the judge to consider the most serious sentence of preventive detention.

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Today Justice Robert Dobson said the case fell just shy of what was needed for preventive detention, and a definitive sentence would give more opportunity for rehabilitation. But he warned that the case was still very serious.

"This was exceptionally cruel offending. On one view it is almost as bad as if you had killed your victim.

"After four hours of very serious and violent attacks on her, committed after you tricked your way into her home, you have put her into a prison of her own for the rest of her life."

Dobson described the horrific attack in detail, including threats during the rape that Niko would "cut her into pieces". The woman suffered significant pain both from the attack, and from being bound.

Before he left, Niko told the woman to wash herself and the sheets. He then walked through the house wiping door knobs in an attempt to remove fingerprints.

"Although we hope that she recovers, I'm going to sentence you on the basis that you have permanently taken away from that woman," Dobson said.

"From being trusting and open with others, your offending has caused her to be fearful and distrusting. Because of that, you'll be going to prison for a long time."

In a victim impact statement read to the court ahead of sentencing, the woman said the attack stays in her memory, despite trying to forget.

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She said, as the mother of two daughters, she was vulnerable to him conning his way into her house.

"I saw a huge tall man, shadowing my doorway with your size. I looked into your face, and you said you were looking for your daughter. I looked into your face, and saw your despair.

"Your deceit and lies were used to get into my home. You overpowered me, gagged and bound me, and I genuinely thought I was going to die."

The 65-year-old woman said she's had to move in with her daughter after the attack, giving up her cherished independence.

"How do I deal with the thoughts that come into my head every time someone knocks on my door?

"You took a piece of me. You left an imprint not only on me, but on my family.

"I used to be bubbly and friendly and speak to anyone.

"But now I cannot be bothered. I am sick of people giving people the benefit of the doubt."

The woman told the court she often has pain and tingling sensations in her hands and feet.

She believes it's damage from when she was tightly bound, and further damage from falling when she tried to escape.

The woman also released a different public statement after the sentencing, this time to thank everyone who had supported her since the attack.

"I have been overwhelmed by the show of support and compassion from my Porirua community.

"I especially want to thank my daughter and son-in-law, for taking me in when it was no longer an option for me to remain in my home.

"I want to thank the strangers who have sent me flowers. I want to thank all of the people who have expressed kind words and thoughts."

Detective Nicola Holroyd said today's sentencing was a further step in the recovery process for a victim who had displayed amazing strength and courage.

"This woman has given to her community her entire life and she has been overwhelmed and humbled by the love and support she has received from her family, friends, and community since the attack," Detective Holroyd said.

"Hopefully the swift arrest and now sentencing of this attacker is reassuring for the community and their feeling of safety."

After the sentencing Dobson acknowledged Niko's family supporting him in court, and said he hoped they would continue to give him their support.