Woman changes mind, prosecutor doesn't: sexual assault charges to be heard

CHANGE OF HEART: A 38-year-old man is alleged to have kidnapped a woman, physically assaulted her in his car and then attempted to sexually assault her in Wellington.

CHANGE OF HEART: A 38-year-old man is alleged to have kidnapped a woman, physically assaulted her in his car and then attempted to sexually assault her in Wellington.

THE Director of Public Prosecutions is pursuing attempted sexual assault charges against a Wellington man despite the alleged victim recanting her statement. 

The 38-year-old man is alleged to have kidnapped a woman, physically assaulted her in his car and then attempted to sexually assault her in Wellington. 

However, his solicitor Phillip Boncardo argued on Thursday in Orange Local Court his client should be granted bail because the alleged victim had written a letter to police which said she “exaggerated” what had happened and she had a motive to make up the story. 

“She was angry at him because he had her charged with unrelated matters,” Mr Boncardo said. 

Yet the Director of Public Prosecutions solicitor Michael Fahy told the court the alleged victim did not break her own ribs. 

“I submit he is an unacceptable risk,” he said.

“We concede she had made several statements. The last statement she made on the 29th of May she told police she had retracted her statement under duress, under pressure by the family of the accused.” 

Mr Fahy told the court the prosecution had statements from the hospital to show the woman’s injuries were not self-inflicted and police had found blood at the scene of the alleged crime. 

He said the prosecution had a witness who had heard a woman scream for help at the time of the alleged incident. 

“He has a history of violence. The nature of these charges are extremely serious,” Mr Fahy said.

“If the accused is convicted he faces a lengthy jail sentence.”

Mr Boncardo told the court the next District Court his client would likely face would not sit until November and his client “had a lot to lose if he was granted bail and stuffed it up”.

The magistrate, Terry Lucas, granted the man bail with strict bail conditions. 

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