Man jailed for raping woman in her home

Drunk after a rugby trip, dressed in a batman costume, Anaru Leigh Tutanekai Wetere needed help.

A woman at a Mosgiel premises noticed the state of the 37-year-old and offered him a bed for the night at her place to "sleep it off".

But during the night of July 8, 2018, instead of repaying the woman’s kindess, Wetere raped her twice; the incidents were seven hours apart.

He took the matter to jury trial through which his defence was that he had suffered an alcohol-induced "blackout", so he could not have acted with conscious thought or decision.

The jury resoundingly rejected that explanation and found him guilty of the two rapes and a charge of unlawful sexual connection.

The Dunedin District Court heard at sentencing this month that the victim had felt unable to continue operating the business she owned as a result of her trauma.

"She described her life being like a zombie, for some weeks afterwards, disgust, feeling horrible, sleep-deprivation, impacted upon her own relationships, PTSD diagnosis, panic attacks, anxiety, loss of self-esteem and confidence," Judge Kevin Phillips said.

Wetere was sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment.

"The breach of trust that you committed is really indescribable as to its level," the judge said.

"You have brought harm not only to your own life but to the lives of all the people who know you and love you, and you have basically destroyed the life of the victim."

Wetere and his victim arrived home in the early hours of the morning.

She showed him to an unused bedroom at her house then went to bed herself after messaging a friend.

An hour later, she woke up to find the defendant violating her.

"She ‘shut down’ I think is the best way of describing it, after this had happened," Judge Phillips said.

Seven hours later, Wetere repeated the act.

About half an hour after that second rape, the judge noted, the defendant was awake and walking around the house.

"There was no indication of any blackout situation at that time at all," he said.

While Wetere said he felt sorry for the victim and wrote an apology letter along those lines, it did not contain the admissions the woman wanted.

"You feel sorry for the victim, but you could not see yourself doing what was described," Judge Phillips said.

Wetere, Probation said, did not take responsibility for his actions; if that remained the case, he would not be eligible for treatment while behind bars, the judge stressed.

Wetere will have his first parole hearing in later 2022.



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