Man accused of Nelson rape named

The man arrested after a brutal and prolonged rape of a 62-year-old woman in Nelson can today be named.

Hilton Hone Heke (22) appeared in Nelson District Court yesterday afternoon after alleged DNA evidence led to his arrest shortly before 8am yesterday.

At his brief appearance in court yesterday he was granted interim name suppression by Judge Chris Tuohy over concerns about comments on social media sites.

Name suppression lapsed at 10am today after the comments were able to be removed.

Heke faces four charges of sexual violation, one charge of injury with intent to injure, one charge of indecent assault, one charge of kidnapping and one of aggravated assault.

The woman, a volunteer, was working alone at the Victory Community Gardens when she was attacked on New Year's Day.

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge, of Nelson, said the victim was "elated" with news of the arrest.

"Her relief is shared by our entire investigation team who've put in some long hours since this terrible incident on New Year's Day. I'm sure the people of Nelson will also be very relieved."

He said many of the investigating team commented that the attack was one of the most severe non-fatal cases they had ever seen in Nelson.

Mr Langridge said the support of the community had been a huge help for police.

"We're very fortunate here in Nelson Bays. We've got a very supportive community; this result the work of the police and the community working together in partnership."

He said police were not looking for any other suspects.

- Andrew Board of Nelson Weekly and APNZ

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