NZ Herald story 13th April 2002
A South Auckland man has been found guilty of abducting and raping a 14-year-old schoolgirl - although the jury was never told that he was 100 billion times more likely to be the rapist than anyone else in the country. Abdul Shaheed, a 34-year-old car seller of Mangere East, was found guilty of snatching the girl off a main street near her school in October 1998 and driving her a short distance to his home, where he raped her. After the jury delivered its verdicts yesterday, Justice Colin Nicholson said the Court of Appeal had ruled that it should not know about a DNA match linking Shaheed with the rape because of irregularities in taking a blood sample.
He remanded Shaheed in custody for sentencing next month. The Appeal Court ruled in a 4-3 split decision that the scientific evidence was inadmissible at Shaheed's trial because police had breached the Bill of Rights Act and had also infringed the Criminal Investigations (Blood Samples) Act by compelling Shaheed to provide a blood sample. The case left appeal judges deeply divided. Justice Peter Blanchard, reflecting the majority opinion, said of the police: "By any measure what they did was grossly negligent almost to the point of recklessness ... "In effect, he [Shaheed] was subjected to unlawful compulsion to undergo a blood test."
But Justice Noel Anderson, who was in the minority with Chief Justice Sian Elias, argued that the breach of Shaheed's rights was counterbalanced by public interest factors such as the gravity of crimes involving the violation of humanity and the dignity of victims and the strength of the evidence that Shaheed was the offender. "The public interest significantly outweighs the private right," said Justice Anderson. "Our system of justice risks its credibility in allowing such compelling evidence of guilt of such serious crimes to be excluded in the circumstances of this case." The Court of Appeal released its decisions last November, but publication of details was banned until the trial ended.
Without the DNA evidence, the main evidence for the prosecution at the trial was the girl's identification of Shaheed. She was walking to school in Mangere East when she was seized. Her attacker could not be found, but seminal fluid was found in her underwear. About a year later, Shaheed approached a 16-year-old girl on her way to school, offering her $200 for sex. He was arrested and charged with offensive behaviour. While in custody Shaheed agreed to give a blood sample, though he had not been told of his right to consult a lawyer. When the DNA match was found, police showed the rape complainant a montage of eight photographs and she identified Shaheed as her attacker.
NZ Herald story 6th June 2002
A South Auckland man has been jailed for 10 years for the abduction and rape of a 14-year-old girl on her way to school. Abdul Shaheed, a 34-year-old car seller of Mangere East, was found guilty by a jury in the High Court at Auckland of snatching the girl from a main street near her school in October 1998 and driving her a short distance to his home where he raped her. Because of irregularities in taking a blood sample from Shaheed, the jury was not told that he was 100 billion times more likely to be the rapist than anyone else.
Shaheed had convictions for accosting two schoolgirls, offering them money for sex. In handing down the sentence, Justice Colin Nicholson agreed with the Crown prosecutor, Philip Hamlin that it was a "predatory and brazen" attack. Shaheed's lawyer, Christopher Harder, said his client continued to deny the offending. In mitigation he said that there was no additional violence, and no weapon was used.
Date of Birth
1968 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to ten years in June 2002
Due for release September 2008
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Abdul Shaheed Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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