Christchurch prowler: Victims showed 'courage and bravery' says sexual violence agency

A man has appeared in the Christchurch District Court on five separate home invasions, all committed yesterday morning.

The 45-year-old is charged with five counts of burglary, three of assault with intent to commit rape on a female over 16, and one of strangulation.

Asked by Judge Quentin Hix if he had anything to say, the man, who has been granted interim name suppression, said he was very sorry for what had happened.

He made no plea and was remanded in custody for three weeks while he is appointed a lawyer.

The police say the incidents all happened in Upper Riccarton.

Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Baillie says the five women at the centre of them all showed extreme courage and are being provided with support.

Victims showed 'courage and bravery', says sexual violence agency

A sexual violence agency says the victims of the attacks showed courage and bravery by coming forward.

Manager of sexual violence agency Aviva, Gwenda Kendrew, said stigma can come with sexual assault.

"There's often quite a bit of blame put on the person who has been assaulted so I think they're brave to pick up the phone or come into an organisation like ourselves."

Kendrew said the follow-up support is crucial after their ordeal.

All those affected should be offered support like counselling, she said,

"I think the speed of how fast things happened is indicative of the community working together, the police responding very well and the victims reacting quickly to what happened."

Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Baillie said police are providing the five women at the centre of the incidents with support.

"Despite these traumatic events, thanks to the actions of these women, we were able to mobilise our staff to the area quickly and locate the suspect.

"Police would like to thank the members of the public who have provided information. We are also conducting scene examinations at several Upper Riccarton properties today."

• Anyone with information is asked to phone the Operation Linen investigation team on 105 and quote file number 201029/8070.

- Additional reporting - NZ Herald

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