On March 12 last year police announced they had arrested the man they believed was responsible for the shocking kidnap and assault of a woman at a West Auckland quarry.

He was arrested at his Onehunga home and charged with abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

Police had worked "tirelessly" for the 14 days following the attack to find the offender.

And after he was arrested, they could say little more about the case.


But today, after Colin Jack Mitchell was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for the brutal attack - and the previously unsolved rape of a young mum in 1992 - they were able to speak about the case.

Following sentencing at the HIgh Court at Auckland Detective Senior Sergeant Kim LIbby addressed media.

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Libby was the head of the investigation into Mitchell, helped by a team of investigators including Detective Sergeant Nick Salter and Detective Jackson Shewry.

"Police acknowledge the sentencing today for Colin Mitchell but today is not about the offender, today is about justice for the two victims who have suffered immeasurably through this man's hideous offending," Libby said.

"I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge both of the victims and the strength and courage they have shown throughout this difficult process.

"One of these victims has spent 25 years of her life looking over her shoulder and without any closure. While sentencing does not mean the end of a victim's suffering, we hope it can provide her with some degree of comfort."

Libby said Mitchell's offending also had a marked effect on the community and his team.

"The incident in Riverhead last year shocked the Rodney and wider Auckland community but these types of crimes and investigations also impact on police staff," he said.

"On that note, I want to acknowledge every police officer and member who worked on this case.

"From the 111 calltaker who took the initial call from the victim, to the staff who found her, fearing for her life, and to the detectives who worked on this investigation – it is through all of your hard work that we are standing here today.

"I would also like to thank the media and our community for the role they played in helping us put this man where he belongs."