Verdicts reached in Dome Valley kidnapping trial
WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
Jurors have reached unanimous verdicts against four defendants in the Dome Valley kidnapping case.
The 12 jurors had been deliberating for more than five hours - since Monday morning - following a three-week trial at the High Court at Auckland.
Nicola Jones and Julie-Ann Torrance were both found guilty of the attempted murder of a teenage victim who was kidnapped and held captive for nearly a day in the basement of a West Auckland home in May last year.
The 19-year-old, who can't be named, had fallen out with former friend Jones over Jones' belief she had an affair with her boyfriend.
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Jones, along with friends Torrance, Michelle Blom and Jaclyn Keates, kidnapped the teenager and subjected her to a degrading attack where the woman's hair was hacked off, her finger stomped on until it broke, she was sexually violated and beaten with a cricket bat.
Wayne Blackett then arrived at the Glen Eden home and, along with Torrance and Jones, took the bound woman to Dome Valley north of Auckland.
Blackett hit her on the head with a hammer several times after his efforts to choke and strangle her failed.
The victim, now 20, gave evidence at the High Court at Auckland over two days where she said she believed she was going to die during the attack.
Weeks before the May incident the victim was also targeted by members of the group, who Tasered her and cut off her hair.
Torrance and Jones then drove the woman to the Bombay Hills, dropping her on the side of the road in the middle of the night where they told her not to come back to Auckland.
At the beginning of the trial Blackett admitted charges of kidnapping and attempted murder and other charges he faced were dismissed by Justice Christian Whata following an application by his lawyer.
He was remanded into custody to await sentencing part way through the trial.
Jaclyn Keates earlier plead guilty to her role in the May attack and is serving a jail term.
The remaining defendants Blom, Keates, Hakeke and Torrance will be sentenced in April.
Hakeke sobbed in the dock as the verdicts were read aloud. Jones was emotional.
Before the jury retired Justice Whata thanked them for their service.
The victim wasn't present in court when the verdicts were read.
Nicola Jones: Found guilty of threatening to kill, attempted murder, injuring with intent, and assault with a Taser. She was found not guilty of sexual violation. She earlier plead guilty to two charges of kidnapping, stealing a car, and three charges of assault with a weapon
Julie-Ann Torrance: Found guilty of assault with a weapon, sexual violation and attempted murder. She earlier plead guilty to two charges of assault with a weapon, kidnapping, and injuring with intent
Cameron Hakeke: Found guilty of kidnapping and assault with a weapon. He was found not guilty of theft of a car and an additional charge of assault with a weapon
Michelle Blom: Was found guilty of kidnapping and found not guilty of injuring with intent, two charges of assault with a weapon and sexual violation.