Brutal RSA bashing investigation stalls

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2012

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The investigation into the brutal bashing of an RSA manager has come to a halt as police have extinguished all leads.

Hobsonville RSA manager Maxine Corless was severely beaten by a masked intruder last December.

Police dubbed the attack "vicious" and "callous" and called the robber a "thuggish gorilla", but despite repeated appeals for information and releasing images of the offender, he has not been caught.

Detective Constable Paul Strange of Henderson police said the investigation had "come to a natural conclusion in that all investigative avenues have been explored with no fruitful result".

The file would remain open and would be reactivated if police received new information, he said.

The robber punched Corless 12 times in the face during the 10-minute ordeal before dragging her along the floor and into another room where he tied her up.

He eventually fled with the till when the cleaner arrived.

Corless, 62, was hospitalised after the incident and it is not clear if she ever returned to work at the RSA.

A woman thought to be Corless, who had her identity hidden, spoke about the incident on crime show Police Ten-7 saying she feared her attacker would kill her.

"I never even heard him breathing. It was like he didn't have a voice.

"And then I thought I'm going to die here and I just said 'I'll tell you where the money is' and he stopped, it was almost like halfway through a punch, it just stopped in mid-air."

The robbery came on the 10th anniversary of the Mt Wellington RSA massacre where William Bell killed club president William Absolum, 63, member Wayne Johnson, 56, and cleaner Mary Hobson and bashed part-time accountant Susan Couch within an inch of her life.

RSA national vice-president BJ Clark said they were saddened that the "thug" hadn't been caught.

"It's sad from an RSA point of view but it's sad from the public point of view that these people get away with this nonsense," he said.

"Too many elderly people are getting beaten up by thugs and you've got to wonder how people feel about themselves - they must feel real tough when they beat up on an old person.

"Frankly he's missing something to beat up, and to severely beat up a woman, to that extent.

"You'd think that most humans have got some semblance of conscience but to carry out a crime and carry it to a point of inflicting such brutal injuries really has to make you wonder where this person fits in society, if at all."

Clark said Kiwis would want to see this person locked up and worried he might strike again.

He urged anyone with information to come forward.

"There's no honour in hiding someone who's carried out this sort of action. These people deserve to be outed and dealt with."

The manager at the Hobsonville RSA declined to comment saying they were focussed on getting on with things.

"We're not impressed but what can you do?"

The attacker was described as a solid to fat man who was wearing a dark hoodie and cap.

He was also wearing a Nike backpack, with the swish visible, dark pants and white running shoes.

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Police said the man appeared to know his way around the RSA.

Anyone with information on the matter is asked to contact Henderson police on 839 0600 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Auckland Now

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