Woman with mental age of a child raped

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012

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A Hamilton man lured a woman with the mental age of a seven-year-old into his flat with promises of a soft drink, then raped her.

Derek Jon Foster, 42, was this week sentenced to nine years prison for the attack, which happened in his flat on June 6.

Several members of the now 24-year-old victim's family were in the Hamilton District Court for Foster's sentencing, with her mother forcing him to look at her as she read her victim impact statement.

Her daughter had transformed from an independent, trustworthy, loving woman into a frightened girl who was now too scared to be alone.

"Our daughter will never know the meaning of true love by a man. You took that right away from her . . . she is now on the edge of a mental breakdown."

The victim's mother felt guilt, as she was also a rape victim and tried to protect her six children.

"Even though it's too late for our daughter, if you are taken out of society then we have protected somebody else."

Foster and the victim lived near each other, the court heard.

On June 6 he asked her up to his flat, offering a glass of coke. When he got her inside, he almost immediately led her to his bedroom where the rape occurred.

During the course of the attack the victim repeatedly asked Foster to stop, but he carried on.

She suffered several lacerations and bruising to other parts of her body.

The victim's aunty told Judge Philip Connell that Foster's actions were little short of paedophilia, given the victim's mental age range.

Crown prosecutor Philip Cornege said a probation officer's report made a disturbing discovery when Foster confessed he had a "proclivity" for children.

Foster's counsel Nick Chisnall asked Judge Connell to take into account his client had one kidney - which would make enduring his prison sentence even tougher.

Judge Connell said that Foster was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the attack.

The victim had suffered post traumatic stress disorder since the attack.

"She is a brave individual with spirit and character.

"That couldn't be said of you, given the callous way that you treated her and the brutal way you offended against her."

"This behaviour was cruel, it was degrading and you made her suffer indignities [in terms of what you did] before you actually raped her."

Judge Connell took a starting point of 11 years, discounting two years for Foster's guilty plea and kidney condition, leaving him with a nine-year term.

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