OPINION: It is early days yet and the court process has barely begun, but there will be huge relief throughout the Nelson community that the police have made an arrest in the violent rape case that has cast such a shadow at the start of the new year.
The police have expressed gratitude to the Nelson community for the support and assistance that has been offered to them during what can only have been a difficult and harrowing investigation.
Most in our community would be happy to respond in kind and acknowledge and applaud the huge effort the police have put in since the attack was reported to them on New Year's Day.
The forensic-identikit-victim interview processes have proceeded professionally and with appropriate speed, but the police also clearly identified the need to step up their presence in the vicinity of the crime scene for a range of reasons. They needed to be seen to be doing whatever they could, not only to make an early arrest but also to bring reassurance to a badly shaken Victory community.
Whatever the judicial outcome and however long the process might take, yesterday's apprehension marks a vital first step towards a recovery of sorts, for the people of Victory, in particular those who know the victim and, of course, the 62-year-old victim herself.
Despite having suffered an ordeal too horrible to fully comprehend, she has remained stoical throughout the past week since the attack and has earned the admiration of those officers who have dealt most closely with her.
Sadly, her nightmare situation is far from over, because justice can take a long time to be done and, in this case, is likely to mean she must relive the first day of 2013 in the sometimes harsh and challenging environment of a court.
The thoughts and best wishes of the Nelson community will be with her in the days to come.
- © Fairfax NZ News