Indefinite sentence possible for rape accused

Last updated 12:48 02/07/2014

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A nine-day delay has been imposed while the Crown considers whether an open-ended term of preventive detention should be sought for a 19-year-old who has admitted two rapes.

Christchurch District Court judge David Saunders today remanded the North Canterbury man to July 11. The judge will consider submissions about whether to send the man to the High Court, which has the power to impose the indefinite jail sentence.

The court had earlier ordered the two reports required from health assessors - usually a psychologist and a psychiatrist - to assess the man's future risk for a decision on whether a preventive detention decision should be imposed. Those reports were available to the court today.

The Crown asked for more time to consider issues raised in the reports.

The man pleaded guilty to the charges in November last year, when he was remanded in custody for sentence and his name suppression was continued.

He had admitted raping a 17 year old near Christchurch Airport on October 13, 2013, threatening to do grievous bodily harm, and abducting, raping, and having unlawful sexual connection with an 11-year-old girl in rural North Canterbury a few hours later.

He was caught by police after crashing through a concrete power pole during a high-speed chase in Loburn. Police estimated he hit the power pole at 150kmh.

It took the car 500 metres to come to a stop. The driver - the only occupant at that stage - was treated in hospital before being taken into custody.

Before the chase and crash the 11-year-old girl had jumped out of the moving car because she had feared she would be killed. She received scratches to her face and neck.

The man's name remains suppressed until the court reconsiders the issue, possibly at his sentencing. If the case is not sent to the High Court, the sentencing will take place on July 11.

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