An Indian man in an arranged marriage has been found guilty
of using his wife as a sex slave, during which he raped, beat
and threatened to kill her.
A jury in the Napier District Court today found the Hastings
man guilty of multiple counts of rape, assault and
threatening to kill for a series of domestic incidents.
The man cannot be named in order to protect the identity of
the victim, who was his wife in an arranged Sikh marriage.
The jury spent more than four hours deliberating yesterday
and this morning, before returning guilty verdicts on eight
charges and a not guilty verdict on one charge. It was hung
on another eight charges.
Essentially, he was found guilty of offending on December 3,
December 25 and 26 in 2012, but the jury could not reach a
verdict on representative charges, where there were alleged
to have been numerous offences committed over a long period
During the trial, the prosecution described how a 45cm long
knife was kept under the marital bed which the man used to
scare his wife into sleeping with him.
It was when police attended a domestic incident at the
couple's home on Boxing Day, 2012 that the allegations were
Officers discovered a "terrified, frightened woman'' hiding
behind a car on the driveway while her drunk husband was
inside watching television. She had bruised arms, which a
doctor said was consistent with being grabbed.
"Culturally, we have heard that in the Sikh culture, for
which an arranged marriage has occurred, leaving your husband
is a big deal and not done lightly,'' Crown prosecutor Steve
"Leaving your husband when you are in a foreign country where
you have no friends or family support must be even harder.
"This happened behind the bedroom door. There were no other
people in that bedroom, except her and the defendant.''
A video was shown of the defendant being interviewed by
Hastings Detective Robin Parker on January 15, 2013.
Mr Parker asked questions regarding how the couple's marriage
first came to be and how it worked.
In broken English via an interpreter, the man said if the
woman had not wanted to marry him, the arranged marriage
would not have gone ahead.
When the specific allegations of sexual offending from their
time living together in New Zealand were put to him, he
denied anything had occurred without consent, and denied
causing the bruising.
Defence lawyer Russell Fairbrother, QC, had questioned what
had attracted the woman to the defendant: "What is the
attraction, except to move to a country like New Zealand to
"He is a New Zealand citizen and she gains residency, and
within days these various things blew up,'' he told the
The offender was remanded in custody by Judge Tony Adeane for
sentencing on April 10.
- By Corey Charlton of Hawke's Bay Today