A Hastings man has pleaded not
guilty to charges relating to the sexual assault of an
87-year-old woman in her home.
The 29-year-old man appeared in Hastings District Court this
morning where he entered not guilty pleas to three charges of
unlawful sexual connection.
A charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily
harm was withdrawn, as was a charge of burglary.
A charge of injuring with intent to injure was laid in place
of the wounding charge, to which a not guilty plea was also
The man was granted continued interim name suppression and
media applications to take photographs were declined.
Lawyer Tony Snell said an initial psychiatric report
indicated the man had "clear and recognised psychiatric
issues" but did not declare him insane.
He said he would be seeking a further report.
Mr Snell said full written submissions backed by psychiatric
reports would be filed at the man's next hearing if permanent
name suppression is sought.
He was arrested last year after the alleged assault on the
elderly woman as she ventured outside to check her mail about
midday on November 7.
The man has been in custody since his arrest.
- Hawke's Bay