A 62-year old woman was bashed and sexually assaulted
yesterday as she worked alone in a Nelson community garden.
Police are hunting the "cowardly" attacker and urged locals
in the Victory area of Nelson to take safety precautions
until he was in custody.
The woman was working alone in a shade house at the Victory
community gardens about 2.30pm when the "vicious" attack took
place by a man in his 20s.
She remained in hospital with substantial head and facial
injuries, along with other lacerations and bruising to her
body. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge of the Nelson CIB said
police had serious concerns about the behaviour of the
offender and what he might be capable of.
"This has been a cowardly and prolonged attack on an older
woman," he said.
"While I am confident we will identify the offender, I must
urge people in the Victory area to take precautions about
their personal safety until we have that person in custody.
"This man clearly has issues that need to be addressed
urgently. He is a risk to himself and the wider community and
I strongly encourage him to hand himself in."
The offender was described as a dark skinned male, possibly
Maori or Polynesian, in his early 20s with short hair and
very distinctive tattoos.
His left arm was fully tattooed from the shoulder to the
wrist in a Maori or tribal design.
His right arm was also tattooed from the shoulder to the
elbow in what was believed to be a Maori or tribal design.
Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity
of the Victory Community Gardens about 2.30pm yesterday and
who had seen anything that might be relevant to this
Police would also like to hear from anyone who had
information about who the offender may be.
Today, police were completing the scene examination with ESR
scientists and conducting a door-to-door area canvas of
houses in the area to speak to possible witnesses and
identify the offender.