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26 Feb 2018 4:48
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Attacker's dark side shows at night: Crown

    A man who attempted to rape a woman is a prowler who lets loose his dark and sinister side in the black of night, a prosecutor has told an Auckland court.


    A man who attacked a woman wearing a white mask and holding a baseball bat was usually a law abiding citizen, but in the black of night he lets his dark side loose, a prosecutor has told an Auckland court.

    Colin Jack Mitchell, 59, has denied any involvement in the attack, which allegedly took place in February last year at a quarry in Riverhead, on Auckland's outskirts.

    He pleaded not guilty to three charges, including abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

    On Tuesday, prosecutor Kirsten Lummis told a High Court at Auckland jury how Mitchell lived alone in Onehunga and had been a truck driver with the same company for 20 years.

    He was also a keen helper at his local Returned Services Association for ex-soldiers.

    But he also has "a dark sinister side that only comes out in the black of night", she said.

    He turns into a prowler, attacked the woman "to exert control, to overpower and to dominate" her, she said.

    The ordeal began along Great North Road.

    Having been drinking with friends in Ponsonby and Karangahape Road, the woman had afterwards been turned away from a bar because she was too drunk.

    Security camera footage obtained by police showed her then walking home along Great North Road.

    At the same time a silver Ford Mondeo belonging to Mitchell passed her on Great North Road before circling back, Ms Lummis said.

    She said while there was no footage showing the moment the woman got into the car, Mitchell either offered her a ride or pulled her inside, before driving to a quarry in Riverhead.

    Possibly sleeping, the woman had no memory of the journey and instead recalls a sudden jolting hit on her head and waking to see a man in a white mask standing over her, telling her to turn around, Ms Lummis said.

    Her clothes had already been removed.

    Refusing to turn around, the woman tried to talk Mitchell out of the attack, saying "you don't have to be this person", Ms Lummis said.

    He continued to threaten her and called her a "stupid bitch", before she scrambled free, calling 111.

    At the same time, Mitchell's car can be on security camera footage fleeing the quarry, Ms Lummis said.

    With the woman not knowing where she was or who had attacked her, what followed was an hour of panic before the police could come to her aid, Ms Lummis said.

    She said Mitchell was arrested about three weeks later, having been linked to the crime by his car and DNA evidence found on a glove at the crime scene.

    Defence lawyer said Mark Ryan said Mitchell did not commit the crime and urged the jury to reserve judgement until they had heard all the evidence.

    The trial continues.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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