Man charged after alleged sex attack at mall

AMY MAAS
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012

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An attempted abduction and sexual assault in West Auckland has pushed police to warn of "stranger danger" as the festive season heats up.

Cortney Smyth, 21, appeared in the Auckland District Court on Monday charged with unlawfully taking a woman with the intent of having sex with her.

The Papakura labourer allegedly abducted the woman from Lynn Mall as she was leaving work around 6pm last Friday.

Smyth also faces four charges of sexual violation, threatening to kill the woman and robbing her of a cellphone and wallet while armed with a knife.

The victim was not known to Smyth, which police say is a reminder to the public to be particularly careful as Christmas approaches.

"At this time of year there are a lot of Christmas functions and a lot of people out and about and it pays to talk about personal safety," Acting Detective Inspector Stan Brown said.

"It's not just about drink driving but having a buddy system and making sure there's someone looking after you, having someone walk you to your car, just taking extra care."

Brown said police were unable to give further details about Smyth's case as it was now before the courts.

Smyth was remanded in custody until January.

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