A High Court jury has found Colin Jack Mitchell guilty of kidnapping a 23-year-old woman and assaulting her at a West Auckland quarry.
Mitchell, who turns 60 today, of Onehunga, was charged with abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and assault with intent to commit sexual violation after the alleged incident in the early hours of Sunday February 26 last year.
A friend of the victim spoke on her behalf outside court following the verdicts.
She said it was a day to reflect, not to celebrate.
Not all the perpetrators of sex crimes were caught, said the friend, who cannot be identified to protect the victim's identity.
The victim touched on the fact that she had encountered two sex offenders the night that she was abducted.
She met a convicted rapist as she walked through Ponsonby following the Pride parade - and was abducted by Mitchell, now a convicted sex offender, an hour later.
"The fact that I came across two men in one night who both have sexual assault and abduction convictions is appalling," the friend said for the victim.
"For each individual with a rape conviction in New Zealand there are 99 other rape victims where the offender was not caught.
"We need to ensure New Zealand is a place that we actually want our children, brothers, sisters and friends to grow up in."
She thanked the police and the Crown for their work and her family and friends for their support, saying she would be "forever grateful".
Guilty on all charges
After a 12-day trial the jury of four men and eight women deliberated for about six hours before returning to court with a verdict.
They were sent out at 1.09pm yesterday and returned just before midday today.
They found Mitchell guilty on three charges relating to the attack:
• kidnapping with intent to have sexual connection
• wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm
• assault with intent to commit sexual violation
As the verdicts were read out Mitchell stood in the dock with his hands clasped in front of him, looking at the ground.
Supporters of the victim gasped in the back of the court as the verdicts were revealed.
The Crown has indicated they will seek preventive detention for Mitchell - an indefinite jail sentence.
His victim was in court to hear the verdict. After the hearing ended she and her supporters hugged police and the Crown prosecutors.
The jury found that Mitchell "took" the 23-year-old "without her consent" as she walked through Grey Lynn following a night out with friends at the annual Pride Parade.
She was driven to the quarry at Riverhead and woke to find a man standing over her with a bat-like weapon.
She was partially clothed and bleeding from a serious head injury.
The woman managed to get away and call police.
After a high profile investigation and appeals for information, Mitchell was identified as the alleged attacker and charged.
Mitchell denied all of the charges.
He said police had the wrong man and he was not the person responsible for the attack.
Mitchell will be sentenced on May 18.