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29 Mar 2017 22:15
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Dome Valley attempted murder trial facts

    How the Dome Valley trial played out - the key facts.


    WHO

    The accused: Nicola Jones and Julie-Ann Torrance are standing trial in the High Court at Auckland accused of attempting to murder a then 19-year-old woman in May 2016.

    Wayne Blackett pleaded guilty to attempted murder at the start of the trial.

    Jones and Torrance are also charged with sexually violating the young woman during the May attack after earlier pleading guilty to kidnapping her and beating her with a cricket wicket and bat.

    Torrance is also charged with cutting the woman's hair, while Jones has pleaded guilty to the charge.

    Michelle Blom is accused of taking part in the kidnapping and assaults.

    Jaclyn Keates was last December sentenced to three years and two months in jail for her part in the attacks.

    Jones has also pleaded not guilty to tasering the young woman during a separate attack in April 2016.

    Torrance pleaded guilty to attacking the woman with a taser, while the pair both pleaded guilty to attacking and robbing the young woman during the same incident.

    A fifth accused, Cameron Hakeke, faced charges of taking part in the April attack after it occurred in his Newmarket apartment.

    The victim: A then 19-year-old Taupo woman, whose name cannot be revealed under the court's order.

    CIRCUMSTANCES

    On May 8, 2016, Blackett tried to break the 19-year-old's neck and strangle her on Conical Peak Road in the Dome Valley before hitting her head with a hammer at least 10 times.

    Jones and Torrance were nearby chortling with laughter and Jones may even have been holding a torch to help Blackett see in the dark, the prosecutors said.

    The trio then left the victim for dead where a woman on her way to work the next morning found her unconscious on the side of a road.

    Jones and Torrance were also accused of holding the victim captive for around 24 hours prior to the final hammer blows in the Dome Valley.

    They, together with Blom and Keates, grabbed the woman from Auckland's Karangahape Road on May 7 before taking her to Blom's basement.

    There they stripped her naked, cut her hair, beat her, stomped on her hand to break her fingers, and put a cricket wicket into her anus and then her mouth, the prosecutors claimed.

    In a separate attack on April 22, Jones, Torrance and Hakeke are accused of luring the woman to Hakeke's Newmarket flat where she was attacked, robbed and tasered.

    Jones is also accused of threatening to kill the young woman in January 2016.

    TRIAL

    The prosecution argued:

    * There was clear evidence from witness testimonies, text messages and the actions of Jones and Torrance that the pair encouraged and supported Blackett's attempt to murder the young woman

    * The women were the architects of the Dome Valley attack and that Blackett was just an actor following their lead

    The defence argued:

    * Defence lawyers for each of the accused attacked the reliability of the young woman's memory, saying she had suffered severe head trauma and her story had changed over time

    * Blom's lawyer said there was no objective evidence she had taken part in the May assault, while Hakeke's lawyer said he was out for work at the time of the April attack and had no idea there had even been a kidnapping.

    VERDICTS

    The jury took five-and-a-half hours to find Jones and Torrance guilty of attempted murder.

    Jones was found not guilty of sexually violating the woman in May 2016 but guilty of tasering her in April 2016 and threatening to kill her in January 2016.

    Torrance was found guilty of sexually assaulting and cutting the woman's hair in May.

    Blom was found guilty of kidnapping the woman in May 2016, but not guilty of taking part in the attacks and sexual assaults on her.

    Hakeke was found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting the woman by cutting her hair during the April attack, but was found not guilty of robbing and tasering her.

    SENTENCING

    Jones, Torrance, Blom and Hakeke have been remanded in custody until sentencing on April 28.


    NZN




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