A serial rapist serving preventive detention is on trial for 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.
He 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.
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.
The Crown alleges that in 2010 Kumar deceitfully obtained his victim's phone number, for 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 mobile phone number from her and then discussed her evidence with her.
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.
Crown prosecutor Alysha McClintock said Kumar knew who the doctor was because he had given evidence at his trial.
She said Kumar also talked about medication the victim was on that had been discussed at trial.
In another call recorded from prison, Kumar allegedly 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 this morning, 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 was dead at the time of the calls.
McClintock said other calls translated from Hindi would be presented to the court including one in which Kumar says he could "do something" if he had a re-trial.
A fellow inmate would also testify that he had been allowed to use Kumar's third-party phone system to call his wife.
The trial before Justice Geoffrey Venning is scheduled for three days.
- © Fairfax NZ News