Alleged rapist had troubled childhood

Last updated 16:56 19/06/2013
Michael Lihou
Fairfax NZ
ACCUSED: Michael Lihou

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A man accused of abducting and raping a Wairarapa teenager has begun giving evidence about his poor upbringing and how he ended up in prison at age 14.

Michael Shane Lihou, 44, is on trial in the High Court at Wellington on eight charges and has pleaded not guilty. But earlier today the jury heard of his previous convictions from two events, one in 1988, and the other in 1995.

The jury heard a statement read that said the first involved a 16-year-old girl who was abducted and raped while being forced through the South Island countryside with Lihou for several days.

The second was a woman in Auckland who sponsored Lihou after his release from prison. She was kidnapped twice. The first time Lihou stopped voluntarily. The second ended in a police chase and Lihou releasing her in a bid to escape.

In the current trial the Crown has called its last witness.

Lihou himself is one of three witnesses being called for the defence. He said he grew up being shuffled “from pillar to post”, had been put in a dog kennel and in a shed. He was taken into care aged six or seven and made a ward of the state at age eight, he said.

He said he had been physically and sexually abused, and dehumanised, "all at the mercy of the Crow".

By 14 he was in prison. He had spent 35 or 36 years institutionalised in boys’ homes and prison, he said.

He spoke emotionally of his release in July 2010 and named prison officers he said had helped him prepare for the release.

His evidence is continuing.

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- The Dominion Post

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