Maakiti Joseph Tipene
NZ Herald story 9th April 2009
A Dutch couple who endured an horrific attack during which the woman was raped at knifepoint have thanked New Zealanders for their kindness and support. Maakiti Joseph Tipene, 25, was today jailed for 10 years with a non-parole period of six and-a-half years for the January 15 incident. The couple, a 22-year-old woman and 25-year-old man, were backpacking around New Zealand and had been sleeping in their stationwagon at a camping ground in Tuatapere when they encountered Tipene. He had seen the woman sun-bathing the day before.
His relationship ended that day and he spent the night drinking and taking drugs, arriving home around 5.15am. Tipene, a shearer, had work that morning and got ready to go, but also took a pillow case, tea towel and filleting knife with him. The Dutch couple were awoken about 6.30am when Tipene, using the pillow case as a disguise, broke into their stationwagon and awning demanding cash. They handed over $750, but Tipene then pulled a sleeping bag off the woman. He raped her and forced her to perform sexual acts on him while holding the knife to her.
In Invercargill District Court today Judge Kevin Phillips said Tipene's offending was extremely despicable, cruel, pre-meditated and akin to a home invasion. "You have destroyed two innocent people's lives. You have destroyed the soul of their existence." In her victim impact statement, the woman said she felt disgusting about the attack. She suffered ongoing mental and physical effects. The man said he felt fearful and helpless. When news of the attack reached media, offers of help and support flooded in both from individuals and organisations such as Tourism New Zealand and the Holiday Parks Association.
"It helped us to continue our trip in New Zealand and showed how many nice people there are in this beautiful country," the couple said. "We were overwhelmed with all the support we received. "We hope that the good memories about New Zealand will overrule the bad ones one day." Police also thanked locals today for their help in capturing Tipene within days of the attack. The offender's mother had initially been credited in the media with bringing about his arrest after she recognised the tea towel and knife which were recovered and displayed by police.
However, Detective Sergeant Dave Nelson said while her call was helpful, by that point they had already taken Tipene into custody. On January 23 he admitted one charge of rape, three of sexual violation, two of unlawful detention, two of threatening to kill and one charge of burglary. In sentencing Judge Phillips rejected a submission from defence counsel that Tipene had felt remorse after the attack. Judge Phillips said Tipene had stood near the couple and counted the money he stole.
He then went to work and went out drinking again that night. He denied his involvement when interviewed by police for the first time and did not come clean and express remorse until his second interview. Judge Phillips said the couple had been attracted to New Zealand's image as a safe backpacking environment. The Netherlands government had since upgraded travel advisories to citizens considering a trip to New Zealand with a warning of "serious crime".
Date of Birth
Unlawfully detained and threatened to kill a Dutch couple and the repeated sexual violation and rape of the woman in Tuatapere, Southland in January 2009
Alarmingly lengthy list of past convictions including, drink driving, dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified, driving while forbidden, substantial cheque and credit card fraud, burglary, receiving stolen goods, theft of a shop till, theft of food, theft of beer, theft of a chequebook, theft of fuel containers, theft of a car stereo, car conversion, burglary, possession of cannabis, disorderly behaviour, disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence, and other charges intentional damage etc etc
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 10 years with a 6 year 6 month non-parole period in April 2009
This was appealed unsuccessfully in August 2009
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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