Grandma punched alleged rapist

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2014

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A grandmother choked up telling a jury how she confronted and attacked the man she believed raped her intellectually disabled granddaughter.

Steven John Selby, 39, has denied two counts of rape, two of sexual violation and three of indecently assaulting the 17-year-old girl on February 4 last year.

The grandmother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the teenage complainant, told the New Plymouth District Court yesterday that she was told something bad had happened to her granddaughter while her mother was in hospital. When she was cleaning at the mother's house, the teenager arrived with a friend and a support person.

"[The granddaughter] grabbed hold of me and cried and cried."

Over the next hour, the teenager kept repeating to her grandmother how she had been raped, that she was very sore and Selby had taken her virginity.

After the granddaughter was taken to be examined by a doctor, the grandmother said she began to think of the "violation of my mokopuna" and the loss of her mana.

She found out where Selby lived and knocked on the door and called him down the stairs. "I punched him in the nose and I kept on punching him. I told him he raped my mokopuna. He kept denying it and I said they will be testing for DNA."

To defence counsel Patrick Mooney the grandmother agreed she formed a view that Selby was "special needs".

In a videoed interview on February 7, 2013, which was played to the jury, Selby said the teenager had exposed herself to him in his lounge. He said he told her he wasn't interested and went to bed.

"She's a good kid and I wouldn't hurt her for a bar of soap but I obviously have. Obviously these accusations . . . I have done something wrong but I don't remember anything happening."

Police interviewer Detective Sergeant Drew Bennett told Selby DNA evidence was taken from the teenager to be analysed.

Selby said he was a sound sleeper and she could have come into his room and "helped herself" or masturbated him and put it inside her. The detective said: "I think it's a ridiculous story."

"You can think what you want," Selby replied.

Selby denied all the teenager's allegations of rape, violation and indecent assaults. "I didn't do any of that at all, then I get assaulted by her grandmother," he said.

Giving evidence on his own behalf yesterday, Selby acknowledged he lied to Bennett during the interview because he was frightened.

The teenager had exposed herself to him in the lounge and she later came into his bedroom and kept asking him for sex. "She wanted sex and I said no but she kept asking so [I] gave in," he said.

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The trial is expected to finish today.

- Taranaki Daily News

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