Nigel Robert Gately
A sex offender on the run after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet has been caught.
Nigel Robert Gately, 48, went missing from the Salisbury St Foundation, a residential facility for prison parolees in St Albans, Christchurch, on Tuesday.
Police arrested him in Nelson on Wednesday night following a manhunt across the upper South Island. It is understood he was caught after a sighting of his car – a purple 2004 Ford Falcon.
Gately is the latest of dozens of criminals to flee after removing an electronic monitoring bracelet.
He attacked two women the last time he was paroled and police launched a wide-ranging search when he was discovered missing.
He will now be recalled to prison.
Nelson Bays area commander Mat Arnold-Kelly said it was thanks to an "eagle-eyed" police officer who saw the vehicle on Selwyn Pl in Nelson city.
"One of our patrols spotted his vehicle parked on the side of the road and he was located near the vehicle," he said.
"We watched it for a while and then were able to arrest him."
Gately grew up in Culverden, North Canterbury, and has convictions for rape, assault with intent to commit rape and abduction for sex. He was released on parole in May last year.
At the time, the Parole Board said he was assessed as a "high risk" of sexual offending, but felt he could be managed with strict conditions, including electronic monitoring.
On Wednesday afternoon, Gately's North Island-based identical twin, Alwyn, said his brother was a threat to women while on the run and could rape a hitchhiker.
"It's the same characteristics as last time. If he doesn't turn himself in in the next couple of days then you know he's up to something."
Alwyn said his brother never used to be a danger to women, but had "turned into a right deviant". He urged him to hand himself in to police immediately.
Corrections confirmed Gately had removed his electronic monitoring bracelet before absconding.
Detective Sergeant Chris Power said police believed Gately fled Christchurch in a purple 2004 Ford Falcon after being in the Office Rd and Rugby St area in Merivale, one of the Christchurch's most affluent suburbs, late on Tuesday night.
He attempted to withdraw cash in Kaikoura about 3.30am Wednesday.
Power said a witness reported seeing a purple car speeding through Picton, a small seaside town north of Blenheim, several hours later but that sighting had not been verified.
Gately did not appear to have any contacts in the upper South Island, but he did know people in Wellington.
Gately was jailed for eight years for the rape of a Christchurch prostitute in 1994. He was released on parole in March 2000.
Just over three months later he attacked a young Dunedin woman. He then fled to Wellington, adopted a new identity and, in January 2001, abducted and assaulted a female hitch-hiker with the intention of sexually violating her.
In each case, the victims were injured but managed to escape.
The Dunedin woman was punched repeatedly, knocked to the ground, and threatened with forced sex and death.
The Wellington hitch-hiker tried to escape from Gately's vehicle after she realised she was in danger.
He threatened her with rape and tried to have sex with her. She fought him off and eventually pulled on the car's handbrake before escaping.
At the time, Justice Hansen told Gately the summary of facts in each case made for "terrifying reading". It was only the women's bravery that prevented the attacks going further.
Gately was sentenced to preventive detention.
As he was escorted to prison, he bolted down High St in Dunedin. An off-duty police officer chased him down and stopped him in a public car park.
Gately was released on parole on May 27 last year.
At the time, the Parole Board noted he had graduated from the adult sex offender treatment programme and had spent time on release to work.
Gately was assessed as posing a "high risk" of sexual reoffending and a "moderate risk" of violent offending.
"We are satisfied that he has learned from the intensive programme he has attended and has endeavoured to put into practice the lessons taught in it. Following the failure of his last release, he accepts that he needs a structured and supported long-term release programme."
After his release, Gately was a resident of the Salisbury St Foundation.
He appeared before Parole Board again twice, most recently in April, for progress hearings. No concerns were raised about his behaviour and he appeared "motivated to continue to build an offence-free future".
Date of Birth
1968 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to preventive detention in October 2001
Last known parole hearing October 2011
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Fugitive sex offender Nigel Gately caught
Nigel Robert Gately Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|25-2-2002||Appeal hearing||Court of Appeal Christchurch||Assault with intent to commit sexual violation||18-06-2000||Preventive Detention||▼|