Teen rapist may be jailed indefinitely

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 11:44 11/07/2014

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Crime

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A court will consider preventive detention for a teenager who admitted two rapes, one of an 11-year-old girl.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders declined jurisdiction in the case at the request of the Crown today, and the case will go for sentence in the High Court on August 7.

Only the High Court has power to impose preventive detention which would keep the teenager in custody until he was no longer seen as a risk to the community.

He had admitted raping a 17-year-old near Christchurch Airport on October 13, 2013, threatening to do grievous bodily harm, and abducting, raping, and having unlawful sexual connection with an 11-year-old girl in rural North Canterbury a few hours later.

He pleaded guilty on November 14 but has been held in prison ever since while a series of psychological and psychiatric reports were prepared. One report was obtained for the defence, and two more were sought at the Crown's request to assess the risk.

The case was delayed last week to give the Crown the chance to consider the contents of the latest reports, and it has now requested the transfer to the High Court.

Judge Saunders said the Crown pointed to certain passages in the psychological reports that meant it might be able to argue for preventive detention.

The judge said he was surprised by the Crown request because of the youth's age - he was 17 when the offending occurred - that fact that he had no previous convictions, and he had never been through any treatment programme.

The speculation about his future risk centred on whether he was motivated to undertake treatment.

The teenager has now written a letter to the judge, which was not read out in court, but apparently refers to his plans for the future. The judge said the defence psychology report may need to be updated before sentencing because of the letter's contents.

Judge Saunders referred to the youth expressing real remorse about what had happened.

Suppression of name was continued until sentencing.

The teenager was caught by police after crashing through a concrete power pole during a high speed chase in Loburn when police estimated he reached a speed of 150km an hour.

Before the chase and crash, the 11-year-old girl had jumped out of the moving car because she feared she may be killed.

She received scratches to her face and neck.

The car came to a stop about 500m from where it hit the pole. The driver was treated at hospital before being taken into custody.

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- The Press

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