Guilty: Tried to kill girl at park

A Timaru man has admitted he wanted to kill the young girl he dragged off her bike into Sir Basil Arthur Park in December.

Blaine Ross Hughes, 20, pleaded guilty in the Timaru District Court yesterday to six charges: attempted murder, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, theft, burglary, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a firearm.

Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae told the court that on December 3 last year at 8.15pm, Hughes parked his Mazda in the car park at Sir Basil Arthur Park, 700 metres from his home.

Hughes had been smoking synthetic cannabis and approached the victim, who was riding her bike past the park.

He asked her how far it was to Pleasant Point as he had to pick up a car from his brother.

She biked off but came back and they had a brief conversation and she asked him if he would like her parents to drop him off in Pleasant Point. He declined the offer and she asked him if he had a phone that he could use to phone someone to help him. She biked away.

"The defendant caught up with the victim and pulled her off her bicycle by putting his arm around her throat and applying significant pressure," McRae said.

"The defendant dragged the victim backwards over a barbed wire fence into an area of trees and shrubs adjacent to his vehicle and hidden from the road. The victim lost consciousness as a consequence of the pressure applied to her neck and was incapacitated."

A witness had been watching from across the road. She saw Hughes drag the girl across the footpath into bushes in the park.

She went to the park and saw Hughes' car parked in a "ready to go position". She yelled out "where are you" and "what's going on".

She saw the victim staggering out of the bushes. The girl screamed. The witness went to the victim's aid and Hughes ran off. The victim had scratching and bruises to her neck, cuts to her stomach, side and legs from being pulled across a barbed wire fence.

Police found Hughes' property in the car, and a machete and rifle in the back seat.

The next day Hughes went into a lumber yard and stole a four-wheel-drive vehicle. He was found in it four days later.

He told police initially he was not after the girl, he just wanted the bike. When re-interviewed, he said he had previously had thoughts of killing people and when he saw the victim they re-entered his mind, McRae said.

"He said when he pulled the victim off her bicycle and dragged her over the fence, he intended to kill her, however he had not given further thought to what he might do after that."

Judge Joanna Maze remanded Hughes in custody to July 22 for sentencing.

The Timaru Herald