A 24-year-old Kaikohe woman has appeared in Kaikohe District Court today in relation to a violent home invasion which left a 92-year-old widow in hospital.

Bella Rina Rudolph appeared by audio-visual link from Auckland Women's Prison this morning facing new charges of aggravated robbery and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. She was initially arrested on Friday on six unrelated burglary charges relating to earlier incidents in Kerikeri, Oromahoe, Rawene, Kawakawa and Paihia.

Rudolph was remanded in custody and is next due in the Whangārei District Court on January 21, when she indicated she would apply for bail.

As it was Rudolph's first appearance on the new charges Judge John McDonald declined the Advocate's application to photograph her, but warned her lawyer she would need to put up "an extremely good argument" as to why he shouldn't grant permission to take photos at her next appearance.


The home invasion took place on the evening of January 9 on Whangae Rd, a rural road near Kawakawa.

Police said two women knocked at the victim's door, in the evening and assaulted her with a weapon, then searched her home and stole property.

The alleged offenders had gone to the Whangae Rd address and asked for petrol. They then attacked the woman, who lives alone, with some sort of weapon before taking unspecified property from the house and driving away in an older model hatchback or liftback car, possibly fawn/tan in colour, with damage to the front guards.

Police are anxious to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles in the vicinity between 6pm and 7.30pm that night.

The offenders were described as Māori, in their early to mid-20s and of medium build.
Detective Sergeant Johnson said the victim, who was injured and extremely shaken, was admitted to Bay of Islands Hospital but was discharged on Thursday.

The "extremely shaken" 92-year-old is now being looked after by family members.