A Waipukurau man has been sentenced to one of the longest non-fatal violence terms ever imposed in a Hawke's Bay court for an attack on a girlfriend he left bleeding profusely in her own bed without calling for any help.
Appearing in Napier District Court today, Jamie Shane Wilkinson, 37, was sentenced to 14 years, which included 18 months for his intimidation of the victim and attempts, including phone calls from jail, to make her withdraw her evidence.
Wilkinson had denied two charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, two of kidnapping, one of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one of injuring with intent and one of attempting to pervert the course of justice, but was found guilty at a trial.
Those in court to hear the sentencing, most unassociated, were in shock and disbelief as Judge Tony Adeane summarised the events which had unfolded at the trial.
He said the couple were seen to leave a party and were arguing. There was little evidence of what happened next, other than that the woman was found in her bed the next day with injuries to most parts of her body.
The judge said Wilkinson assaulted the woman with some "blunt-force" instrument, and sexually violated her, much of the evidence being in a bloodied vehicle found by police at the rear of a property in Waipukurau after investigators dismissed Wilkinson's claim that on the night he had another vehicle, which he presented to police in a "pristine" condition.
He'd also claimed that he'd last seen the woman on the night when he left her for her to walk home alone.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said that what became particularly aggravating was that afterwards Wilkinson took the victim to her home and placed her in bed, ignoring the presence in the house of the woman's mother in a room next-door.
Even in speaking with the mother he made no mention of the victim a few hours later, and made no attempt to get her help, which was not given until after the mother found the woman in the bed the following afternoon.
On bail after being charged, Wilkinson breached the conditions by contacting the victim, and then in remanded custody rang her from jail in an attempt to manipulate her and dissuade her from giving evidence.
Her evidence at the trial was given in the form of a recorded evidential interview with police after her treatment for her injuries.
Defence counsel Eric Forster said the offending was a major break from the history of a man regarded as a hard worker, with a minor record in which the most serious offence appeared to be one of common assault.
Forster, who did not act for Wilkinson at the trial, said severe intoxication and some jealousy appeared to be at the centre of the attack.