Community comes to robbed tourist's aid

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 12:26 10/01/2014
German tourist Soenke

OUT OF THE BLUE: German tourist Soenke was attacked on the street after a late-night hospital discharge.

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The Kaikoura community has rallied to help a German tourist attacked and robbed in central Christchurch after being discharged from Christchurch Hospital at 11pm. 

Soenke, who only wanted his first name used, was assaulted by three men at the central bus exchange about 1.30am last Saturday.

The 20-year-old had arrived at Christchurch Hospital by ambulance for a painful eye infection, where he was treated and discharged. 

He was unable to find accommodation and was forbidden from sleeping in the emergency department reception. 

The attackers stole his laptop, cellphone and bag, which contained gifts and his passport. 

Soenke said he had "a very nice experience" after returning to Kaikoura, where he is currently based during his eight-month working holiday in New Zealand.

He hitch-hiked back to the town on Saturday, and the driver who picked him up gave him $20 for food on the way.

Soenke said a woman came into the hostel where he is staying on Wednesday and "gave me a letter with money and a hug and she said that she feels so sorry for what happens".

Friends in the town had also helped him with cash for food and other necessities. 

"I had a very nice experience with the locals," he said. "I am very thankful for these response, it really helps me to feel better."

Police yesterday released security footage of four people - two young men and two young women - who they believe may have information about the aggravated robbery. 

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Sarah Illingworth said today she was not aware of anyone having come forward.

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- The Press

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