Man faces 51 charges including rape

Fourteen new charges have been laid against a Marlborough man accused of drugging and sexually abusing girls, one as young as nine, over the past 26 years.

The 64-year-old man is now facing a total of 51 charges including rape, making an intimate video and grooming a 15-year-old girl. He is also facing a raft of drugs charges and illegal possession of ammunition. Police expect to lay more charges.

The charges he already faces relate to alleged offending against at least seven girls aged nine to 16 between 1985 and 2012. Some of the charges relate to offending in Kaikoura and Picton as well as Blenheim.

The man, who has name suppression, appeared in the Blenheim District Court today and was remanded to reappear on December 10.

His name suppression was continued waiting on a reserve decision by Judge Stephen Harrop, which could be released next week. He was remanded in custody while an application is filed for him to be released on electronic bail.

The new charges laid today include seven charges of indecent assault, four against two girls aged 15 years old. They also include one charge of making an intimate video tape, one charge of grooming which allegedly entailed meeting a 15-year-old girl with intent to commit a crime after contacting her on a cellphone and four drugs charges relating to possession of cannabis oil, diazepam, MDMA, and a prescription drug.

A charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply was replaced with a charge of possession of benzylpiperazine (BZP).

The man greeted a small group of supporters, but then stood impassively in the dock for the remainder of his hour and half long appearance.

Judge Harrop reserved his decision on lifting the man's name suppression to allow further arguments to be made this week by police and by defence lawyer Rob Harrison. Judge Harrop said he hoped to be able to release his decision next week.

Mr Harrison said the man's name should not be released as the police were still filing charges and the case against him was not clear yet.

It was possible given the number of charges the man faced that there may be an application to have different trials relating to different charges and releasing the man's name could stop those being fair.

The Marlborough Express