Stalking overstayer in custody

Last updated 05:00 14/03/2014

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A Tongan overstayer's infatuation with a girl helped the New Zealand Immigration Service finally catch up with him.

Daniel Penitani, 19, whose work visa expired on January 1, appeared in the Timaru District Court yesterday on one charge of burglary and one of indecent assault.

He was remanded in custody to reappear on May 20 for sentencing after admitting both charges.

The court heard that on February 27, Penitani let himself into the victim's house through an unlocked door.

He had followed her home on previous occasions but had never spoken to her.

Once he was inside the house, Penitani made his way to her bedroom where he took his top off and climbed into bed next to her.

Penitani then kissed her on the lips, put his tongue in her mouth and tried to roll her over.

She used her phone's backlight to illuminate his face, and at that moment realised the man in her bed was not her boyfriend, police prosecutor Greg Sutherland said.

She asked Penitani if she could go to the bathroom, to which he agreed. During her escape she alerted her parents, who called the police. They found him in a closet.

Immigration NZ had tried in vain to establish Penitani's whereabouts after his visa expired. At an earlier court appearance he had asked to be bailed to his sister's house in Christchurch.

However, the court was told that she had not helped Immigration NZ when it was looking for him.

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- The Timaru Herald

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