Serial rapist phoned victim

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 17:47 01/08/2012

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A serial rapist serving preventive detention has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by calling his victim from prison and pretending to be her doctor.

Pravin Fia Hari Prasad Kumar was convicted in 2009 of kidnapping, sexual assault and rape of a young woman with schizophrenia.

While in prison awaiting his appeal, Kumar was caught running a complex scheme in which he would call his mother and have her divert his calls to phone numbers not approved by the prison phone system.

In 2010 Kumar obtained his victim's phone number in the care home where she lived by calling a string of people and pretending to be a doctor.

Once he got hold of the woman he got her cellphone number from her and then discussed her evidence.

He suggested she had been pressured to lie and in a series of calls the next day he tried to get her to say the evidence she had given at court was not true and that she had not been raped.

Kumar was sentenced to preventive detention in 2010 after he was convicted of two rapes.

He already had a history of violence and assaults on women.

While on bail for the 2010 rapes he escaped his electronic monitoring and did not attend his trial, but the trial went ahead in his absence and he was convicted.

He was captured after contacting one of the women on the internet.

Preventive detention means he can only be released once authorities are satisfied he is no longer a threat. 

Crown prosecutor Alysha McClintock said in the present case, Kumar pretended to be a doctor who had worked with one of his victims.

He knew who the doctor was because he had given evidence at his trial.

McClintock said Kumar also talked about medication the victim was on that had been discussed at trial.

In another call recorded from prison, Kumar called a forensic scientist who had testified at his trial and pretended to be a private investigator inquiring about the DNA evidence he had given.

The call, played to the court, began with an Indian-accented voice saying: "Hello mum," and then immediately giving a phone number that was dialled and connected to the forensic scientist, Timothy Power.

The man identified himself as Brian Row from private investigators Nimrod Investigations.

Evidence was later called that Brian Row did not work for Nimrod and had passed away at the time of the calls.

The trial was before Justice Geoffrey Venning alone who found the charge proved this afternoon.

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- Auckland Now

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