Suppression continues for teenager accused of rapes

Police car-Sept2013-01Name suppression has been continued for a teenager facing rape charges in the Christchurch District Court.

When the 18-year-old first appeared in court two weeks ago, the judge granted the suppression but made an order that it should be fully argued today.

However defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger said documents setting out the prosecution case had only been received on Friday and the issues that led to the order being made had not yet been resolved.

Judge Phillip Moran told the court: “Interim suppression will be continued because there are still outstanding health issues that need to be explored.”

Miss Bulger said she would be meeting the man during his remand in custody at the prison this week, and she believed he would be able to enter pleas at his next appearance which is set for next Monday.

Today’s remand appearance was by video-link from Christchurch Men’s Prison and next week’s session will happen in the same way.

It is likely that suppression will be reconsidered then.

The man has been charged over two sex attacks allegedly committed within 10 hours.

The first alleges a 17-year-old woman was raped in a car in Pound Road behind Christchurch Airport during the night.

He is then charged with abducting and raping an 11-year-old from a playground the next morning. The girl was left on the side of a rural North Canterbury road.

The teenager now faces 11 charges, and has not yet entered pleas to any of them.

He faces two charges of raping the 17-year-old, two of raping the 11-year-old, abduction of the 11-year-old for sex, three charges of having unlawful sexual connection, threatening to kill or cause grievous bodily harm by stabbing, as well as reckless driving and failing to stop for the police.

Police have said the man was arrested after a high speed chase in North Canterbury which allegedly ended when he crashed a car into a power pole in Loburn later the same day.

The man was treated at hospital for minor injuries before being taken into custody.

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