A man accused of kidnapping a 23-year-old woman and assaulting her at a West Auckland quarry says he did not attack her and police have simply got the wrong man.
Colin Jack Mitchell is on trial for the abduction and assault of the woman in the early hours of February 26 last year.
She was walking home through Grey Lynn following a night out with friends at the annual Pride Parade when Mitchell allegedly kidnapped her and drove her 25km to a stone quarry at Riverhead.
Mitchell is on trial in the High Court at Auckland before Justice Sally Fitzgerald.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges of abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.
The Crown opened its case against Mitchell this morning.
They say numerous "strands" of evidence including DNA found on a glove at the scene and CCTV footage they claim shows Mitchell's car near the victim just before she was kidnapped and at the scene of the assault make it clear he was the assailant.
However Mitchell's lawyer Mark Ryan rejected the Crown's case entirely.
He told the court that the Crown's opening should not be taken as evidence, and the jury should keep an open mind.
"It wasn't Mr Mitchell and it wasn't his car," he said in his short opening statement.
"He says it wasn't him … the onus is on the Crown to prove the charges against Mr Mitchell.
"The accused person doesn't have to prove anything."
Ryan urged the jury not to have any prejudice - particularly "prosecutorial prejudice".
He said jurors should not think "just because police have charged Mr Mitchell, he is guilty".
"That's flawed thinking," Ryan said.
"The police have got it wrong in the past, the police have definitely got it wrong on this occasion and they will get it wrong in the future.
"I would ask you at this early stage if you could just keep an open mind and not jump to conclusions - because there's two sides to every story."
Ryan said he would address the jury further at the end of the trial.
The trial is set to run for three weeks and almost 60 witnesses will be called.
The first witness is the victim.