Invercargill rapist jailed after DNA evidence

Last updated 05:00 18/05/2013
Norman Ladbrook
NORMAN LADBROOK: The 33-year-old Invercargill man has been jailed for raping an 18-year-old woman almost six years ago.

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A cold case that was solved by DNA has resulted in an Invercargill rapist being sentenced to five years and one month's jail.

Norman Barry Ladbrook, 33, was sentenced in the Invercargill District Court yesterday for raping an 18-year-old woman almost six years ago after he noticed her walking past him in a city street.

Judge Kevin Phillips, when sentencing Ladbrook, said he had followed the woman through the Pak 'N Save car park in the early hours of November 18, 2007, before grabbing her in Forth St and raping her on the floodbank.

Ladbrook's lawyer, Hugo Young, said his client had a very low intellect, which was why he had little remorse.

Ladbrook struggled to see the impact of his offending on the woman, Young said.

The victim was now scared when men were behind her and suffered from nightmares and depression, Judge Phillips said.

In a statement released after the sentencing, the officer in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Greg Baird, said the sentencing had brought huge relief to the victim and closure to her after almost six years.

"She feels she can finally get on with her life. For other victims of unsolved crimes, her message is to never give up, as DNA may one day be able to solve their crime."

Ladbrook was caught for the rape when he was arrested in November last year on another matter and provided a DNA sample, which subsequently matched DNA obtained from the woman.

Baird said police were praising DNA as a tool that could assist in such cases.

"DNA is a powerful tool that assisted us in solving this case. A significant amount of time has gone into this investigation and it is tremendously satisfying to finally be able to put an offender before the court for a horrendous crime such as this."

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- The Southland Times

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