The son of a 77-year-old woman tied up and assaulted in a
brutal daylight home invasion in January knows the man
charged with his mother's attack.
The elderly woman was assaulted by a knife-wielding man in a
balaclava, who tied her up with a scarf and bedsheet and beat
He stopped only when she held her breath and played dead. He
then left with her jewellery.
This week, more than four months after the January 8 attack,
police charged a 41-year-old man.
Dinesh Lal has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated
burglary and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.
He is due in court today for his third appearance this week.
The 77-year-old's son, who cannot be named because it could
identify his mother, said the man accused of committing the
crimes was a customer at his car yard.
The pair had celebrated together at his work Christmas party
only weeks before the attack.
"He bought two cars from me, for him and his wife. Most of my
customers are like my friends and family. As a customer I
make everyone my friend. He was here every second Saturday
after work for beers."
Police say the woman's attacker went in through the back door
of her Papatoetoe home as she was about to collect laundry
The woman, who moved to New Zealand from Fiji 20 years ago
and lives with her son and his wife, was left bruised and in
shock following her ordeal.
But she had bounced back, her son said.
"When I saw my mum in the house like that, beaten and tied
up, I was shocked.
"I took two weeks off work. I still tell her not to open the
"But she's been really good, now she is pretty happy. She's
never scared to go out, she's a tough lady.
"She is praying every day that [her attacker] should be
punished really badly. I tell her that he will be."
The man said the support from the Papatoetoe community had
been immense, and he thanked the police for making an arrest.
- Sam Boyer of the New Zealand Herald