Man arrested, charged with beating and raping woman in Nelson gardens

News from NZ Police
A 22 year old Nelson man has been arrested this morning and charged in relation to the brutal attack and rape of a 62 year old woman at the Victory Community Gardens on New Year’s Day.

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said the breakthrough came as a result of DNA evidence gathered which matched that of the man now in Police custody. He said the man was on the Police suspect list prior to the DNA match being discovered.

The man has been charged with: Kidnapping, Aggravated Injuring, Injuring with Intent to Injure, Indecent Assault and four counts of Sexual Violation. He has been remanded in custody to appear in the Nelson District Court later today.

Detective Sergeant Langridge said the victim had been informed and she was very relieved to hear the news.

“Her relief is shared by our entire investigation team who have put in some long hours since this terrible incident on New Year’s Day. I’m sure the people of Nelson will also be very relieved to know we have this man in custody.”

Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Steve Greally congratulated the investigation team for their work. “This crime was particularly heinous in nature and generated a great deal of emotion within the wider Nelson community and particularly within the Victory area. I congratulate and thank Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge and his investigation team for the countless hours they invested to enable an arrest.

“I would also like to thank members of the community for their assistance in resolving this matter. I have said it before, that police cannot work without the assistance of the community and we are very grateful for the support we get in Nelson Bays,” he said.

Inspector Greally said there was still a lot of work required in the prosecution phase of the investigation and that was where Police would now be focusing their efforts.

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News from NZ Police – January 5
Nelson Police have had a flood of information from members of the public following the release of a computer sketch giving a likeness of the man who attacked a 62 year old woman at the Victory Community Gardens in Nelson on New Year’s Day.

He is described as about 5ft 6in tall, with a short “number 3” haircut and either Maori or Polynesian. He has distinctive tattoos, one of which fully covers his arm from shoulder to wrist. The other arm is tattooed from the shoulder to the elbow. The tattoos are described as “tribal” style.

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said those who had provided information would be contacted by members of the investigation team, however, because of the amount of work involved that may take some time.

“I’d like to thank every person who has offered information and also ask for their patience while we sift through the information we have received.”

Detective Sergeant Langridge said a team of 12 detectives were working on the case. They are being assisted by a large number of uniformed Police Officers.

“Our staff have come in from their days off and cut holidays short to offer to help out with this investigation. Like the rest of the community we are determined to find this person as soon as possible. With the level of community support we are receiving I’m confident we will find him.”

The victim of the attack has now been released from hospital and is being well supported by family and friends.

“I am full of admiration for this woman. She has remained strong and offered Police as much assistance as she can. She knows we are doing all we can to resolve this matter,” Detective Sergeant Langridge said.

Police are hoping the forensic evidence will provide the DNA profile of the offender. That is being processed with urgency. Police are continuing the area canvass and maintaining high profile patrols in the area.

The Freephone number has also been set up for people to call with information. That number is 0508 2674662 or 0508 CORINNA. A large number of calls have already been received via that number.

Police are still encouraging people with information to call Nelson Police, Ph 546 3840, Operation Corinna Freephone 0508 2674662 or 0508 CORINNA. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers, Ph 0800 555 111.

News from NZ Police – January 4
Police have today released a computer sketch giving a likeness of the offender who attacked a 62 year old woman at the Victory Community Gardens in Nelson on New Year’s Day.

He is described as about 5ft 6in tall, with a short “number 3” haircut and either Maori or Polynesian. He has distinctive tattoos, one of which fully covers his arm from shoulder to wrist. The other arm is tattooed from the shoulder to the elbow. The tattoos are described as “tribal” style.

Police are continuing the area canvass and maintaining high profile patrols in the area.

Tomorrow Police will have a stand at the Saturday market in Montgomery Square in Nelson where people can come and offer information. A Freephone number has been set up for people to call with information. That number is 0508 2674662 or 0508 CORINNA. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers, Ph 0800 555 111.

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said a number of people had come forward with information and suspect nominations and all of that information was being investigated further. He encouraged anyone with information that may be relevant to the investigation to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Langridge also encouraged the offender to hand himself in and seek help.

News from NZ Police – January 2
Police have today been canvassing households in the Victory area of Nelson where a 62 year old woman was savagely beaten and raped yesterday while she was working alone in a community garden. ESR scientists have also been conducting a scene investigation.

The woman remains in hospital with substantial head and facial injuries, along with other lacerations and bruising to her body. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

The scene where the attack occurred is visible from a popular public walkway and Police believe it is likely people would have been using the walkway as the attack occurred. Police would like to speak to anyone who was on or near the Railway Reserve on New Year’s Day about 2.30pm and who may have seen or heard something relevant to the investigation..

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge of the Nelson CIB said Police would have a significant presence in the Victory area until the offender had been apprehended. However, he encouraged residents and those using the reserve to take reasonable precautions for their own safety. He also encouraged the offender to hand himself in, and cautioned the offender’s associates that assisting a person to evade police, disposing of evidence or knowingly obstructing Police were offences.

Police hope to speak to the victim tomorrow. She remains in hospital.

If you have any information please call Nelson Police, Ph 546 3840. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers, Ph 0800 555. 111.

Earlier News from NZ Police
A 62 year old woman was viciously attacked while she was working alone in a community garden in the Victory area of Nelson yesterday afternoon. The woman was working in a shade house about 2.30pm when she was seriously beaten and sexually assaulted by a man in his 20s.

She remains in hospital with substantial head and facial injuries, along with other lacerations and bruising to her body. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge of the Nelson CIB said Police had serious concerns about the behaviour of the offender and what he may be capable of and were seeking help from the public to identify him.

“This has been a cowardly and prolonged attack. While I am confident we will identify the offender, I must urge people in the Victory area to take precautions about their personal safety until we have that person in custody,” he said.

“This man clearly has issues that need to be addressed urgently. He is a risk to himself and the wider community and I strongly encourage him to hand himself in,” Detective Sergeant Langridge said.

The offender is described as a dark skinned male, possibly Maori or Polynesian, in his early 20s with short hair and very distinctive tattoos. His left arm is fully tattooed from the shoulder to the wrist in a Maori or tribal design. His right arm is also tattooed from the shoulder to the elbow in what is believed to be a Maori or tribal design.

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of the Victory Community Gardens about 2.30pm yesterday and who has seen anything that may be relevant to this investigation.

Police would also like to hear from anyone who has information about who the offender may be.

Today Police will be completing the scene examination with ESR scientists and conducting a door to door area canvas of houses in the vicinity to speak to possible witnesses and identify the offender.

If you have any information please call Nelson Police, Ph 546 3840. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers, Ph 0800 555. 111.

 

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