Chef jailed over cemetery sex attack

Viktor Mykhailov in the Auckland District Court. Photo: NZ Herald/Dean Purcell
Viktor Mykhailov in the Auckland District Court. Photo: NZ Herald/Dean Purcell
A top chef who viciously beat and raped a prostitute in an Auckland cemetery has been jailed for nine years.

Viktor Mykhailov, 28, who was working at "a first-class restaurant" at SkyCity, was arrested in April after police made numerous appeals to the public for assistance with the grisly case.

The Ukrainian man -- who was assisted today by an interpreter -- was convicted of two counts of sexual violation and one of aggravated injuring after admitting his role in the March 15 incident.

In Auckland District Court, Judge Philippa Cunningham said the grave circumstances of the case were extremely rare for someone making their first court appearance.

"It's most unusual to have a first offence that's so serious," said Judge Cunningham.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before." Mykhailov walked the length of Karangahape Rd three times in the early hours of the morning before approaching the victim for sexual services.

She followed him into Symonds St cemetery and lost sight of him before being "ambushed" from behind.

Mykhailov then dragged her by the hair 40 metres into the darkness of the cemetery.

The 28-year-old punched her in the head and kicked her in the torso throughout a prolonged sexual assault.

Judge Cunningham said the brutality of the assault increased when the victim could not understand his broken-English commands.

"He left the scene and she ran bloodied and naked across Symonds St to the Langham Hotel where she sought help from staff." The judge said it had been a life-changing event for the woman, who was reminded of the ordeal every time she looked in the mirror.

"He has taken a piece of me I'll never get back," the victim told police.

The court heard of the "huge" impact of the attack on the 34-year-old woman.

Among her injuries, she sustained a fractured eye socket which gave her sporadic loss of sight and a broken nose while require rhinoplasty surgery.

"She is scared around people, has trust issues and feels confused and frustrated," said Crown prosecutor Asishna Prasad.

Defence lawyer Steve Bonnar admitted it was a "nasty attack" and his family -- some of whom were in court to support the defendant -- were left bewildered.

"It seems to be so remarkably out of character that it is to a large extent inexplicable," Mr Bonnar said.

Mykhailov addressed the court in Russian to emphasise his remorse.

"I know it'll be very hard for my victim to move on and forget what happened," he said.

"And it'll be even harder for me to move and realise what I've done." He was ordered to pay $5000 to the victim.

Mykhailov, a permanent resident of New Zealand for the last three years, will likely be deported after serving his sentence.

 

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