Throat-cutting gesture at alleged rape victim

Court House-general2A man made a throat-cutting gesture at his alleged rape victim over a video-link to a Christchurch District courtroom.

Police reported the gesture to Judge Brian Callaghan who had been looking down at the paperwork at the time, and had not seen it.

They wanted it noted as a factor if any future bail application was made by Luke James Henry.

The police prosecutor in court verified that the woman sitting with another woman in the back of the court was the alleged victim of a kidnapping and three rapes by Henry, and several other sexual violations and assaults.

Henry, 31, appeared in court last week after police had issued his photograph through the media and said he was being sought for several violent offences.

He appeared in court on September 13, when he represented himself and was remanded in custody without plea to today on the sex and violence charges as well as driving while his licence was suspended, reckless driving on Hendersons Road, Hoon Hay, and failing to stop for a police car using its lights and sirens.

He continued to represent himself when the case was called in today’s video-link session from Christchurch Men’s Prison.

Henry immediately saw the two women who were sitting in the public seating area which has signs up saying that those seats are visible to people appearing on video link. He made a finger-gesture several times.

Judge Callaghan did not see those gestures either, but asked Henry if he wanted to get a lawyer or apply for legal aid.

“What do you f–g think?” said Henry, and called the judge a nasty name.

“I’m not going to answer that,” said Judge Callaghan, but he continued to deal politely with Henry, explaining that he was entitled to legal representation.

Henry just shrugged.

Police then reported to the judge that they had seen the throat slitting gesture, and asked that it be noted. The judge noted it, but said he had not seen it himself.

Henry walked away from the video camera when the judge asked if he wanted to enter pleas. He appeared to hold his hand in a pistol gesture.

“Mr Henry is in an irascible mood,” said the judge. “It appears he’s in no mood to enter pleas today.”

He remanded him again in custody to October 3, for pleas, and asked that a duty lawyer contact him about it in the meantime. The next appearance will also be by video-link.



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