Mark Anthony Waitapu
From a Waikato Times story 5th August 1996
Hamilton's biggest rape case ended today when a 25-year-old man was jailed for 12 years for a daylight knifepoint attack on a woman walking home from work. In the High Court at Hamilton, Mark Anthony Waitapu was jailed on two charges of sexual violation by rape, two of sexual violation by anal penetration, and one of aggravated robbery. The victim's mother, speaking outside the court after the sentencing, said: "If he'd been hung it still wouldn't wipe out what he did to our daughter." The victim, who was in the gallery today, did not look at her attacker and broke down outside the court. Waitapu, described as unemployed and transient, stood dressed in black, looking at his clasped hands.
In what Justice Hammond today described as an abhorrent and vicious attack, Waitapu raped and sodomised the 19-year-old Hamilton woman after he grabbed her as she walked home from work across Claudelands Bridge on September 4 last year. In Sonning carpark by the Waikato River, he held a knife to her throat, ordered her to say certain phrases for his sexual gratification and choked her when she refused. He stole her pay packet, threatened to throw her off the bridge if she did not do what he said, and threatened to kill her if she told the police. Detective Sergeant Ross Ardern said outside the court today that Waitapu's attack had sparked Hamilton's biggest rape inquiry. Up to 16 police worked sometimes 12 hours a day for 1 and a half months on the case. Waitapu was initially arrested on September 16 and charged with being an accessory to the rape. He told police the attacker was a transient named Hone.
On October 17 Waitapu was charged with the rape and he pleaded guilty in June. Today in court, Justice Hammond referred to penalities handed out for other serious rapes. He said appeal court records showed similar attacks by other offenders - one on a 15-year-old who was gagged and raped twice and one on a 12-year-old girl who was viciously raped when she was at gym - had resulted in 12 and 11-year sentences. Rape carries a maximum penalty of 20 years' jail. Speaking outside the court, the victim's father said the attack would affect his daughter and family for the rest of their lives. "This was daylight. A girl happily going home with her pay, quite proud, paying her way in society. That's all been taken away from her . . ." During the investigation, the victim's parents said she had been brought up in rural Waikato and moved to Auckland for a year. She moved back to Hamilton because she thought it was safer. A report to the court said Waitapu came to the Waikato two years ago looking for his mother's grave. He couldn't find it and stayed living rough in the area.
Date of Birth
Rape (x2), sexual violation by anal penetration (x2) and aggravated robbery of a 19 year old Hamilton woman in September 1995
Also drink driving in Porirua
At large in Levin
Sentenced to twelve years in August 1996
Sentenced to 60 hours community service in August 2008
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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