Psych assessment for alleged attacker

JO MOIR
Last updated 13:32 11/02/2013

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Porirua

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A Porirua man charged with attempted murder and sexual violation is to undergo psychiatric assessment.

The 23-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, is alleged to have attacked a 54-year-old woman on a popular city walking track about 9am yesterday.

Police described the attack as a ''prolonged and serious assault'' that lasted about five minutes.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam said a man who witnessed the attack from a distance likely saved the woman from a more serious fate. 

"Some people are slow to react, but he got to us quickly," Mr Oxnam said.

At Porirua District Court today bail was opposed and the man was remanded until later this month.

Duty solicitor Peter Foster said legal aid had been applied for and requested name suppression until man's next appearance so family members could be informed. 

He also requested a psychiatric assessment and told Judge Jan Kelly that ''medication issues'' are being sorted.

Detective Matt Fitzgerald, of Porirua CIB, said the woman was walking along the Kenepuru walkway, between the Porirua Railway Station and Kenepuru Dr, when the male allegedly approached her from behind. 

''It appears the assault was random and unprovoked.'' 

The woman is now home recovering after spending a couple of hours being treated at Wellington Hospital.

The area where the attack happened was very much out in the open, Mr Fitzgerald said. 

''It's open view to houses across the road and to anybody using the car park on the other side of the stream.''

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- The Dominion Post

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