Violent burglar's appeal rejected

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 07:41 13/12/2012

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A prolific and violent night burglar has lost an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

The man, who has name suppression, carried out burglaries across Christchurch between July and September 2008, including two home invasions where women were robbed and indecently assaulted.

The man was tried before Judge Raoul Neave in December 2010 and was found guilty on nine counts of burglary, two counts of robbery, three of indecent assault and one of being in possession of a knife.

In the High Court in Christchurch in February this year, Justice French sentenced the man to preventive detention, with a minimum jail period of eight years and 10 months.

The man appealed against the sentence on the grounds there had been a miscarriage of justice.

He said DNA testing was false, evidence that should have been given was not and new evidence had since become available. He claimed there was misconduct on the part of his former lawyer.

Judge Neave found many of the features of the offending - namely, using a torch, wearing dark clothing including a balaclava, focusing on cash and obtaining entry by jemmying a window - were common to a significant proportion of the burglaries.

He pointed out the unusual features regarding the home invasions where the mature women were assaulted.

In both cases, the women were at home alone and in bed when the burglar entered the property. In each case, the burglary developed into a sexual assault.

The Court of Appeal found there was no miscarriage of justice in the conviction.

"For each charge, the judge considered all the evidence before the court," it said.

"The judge's conclusions that the appellant committed those offences he found to be proved beyond reasonable doubt were based on the totality of the evidence of the particular charge."

The court also rejected the appeal against the preventive detention sentence.

"In sentencing the appellant, her Honour had the benefit of fully reasoned judgment," it said.

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- The Press

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