Abel Jaye Wira
Sentenced to 12 years with a 6 year minimum non-parole period in December 2003
Unsuccessfully appealed conviction and sentence in November 2004
Parole refused December 2013
Paroled April 2014
Newstalk ZB reporthere
Appeal Court decisionhere
From NZ Herald story 10th December 2003
A Kaitaia man who has spent most of his life behind bars will spend at least six more years in prison after being convicted of raping a teen hitchhiker on a remote Northland road. Abel Jaye Wira, 39, unemployed, appeared for sentence in the High Court at Whangarei yesterday after he was found guilty of raping an 18-year-old woman on March 22 this year.
A jury also found Wira guilty of kidnapping, unlawful sexual connection and indecently assaulting the woman in a car near Matauri Bay. Justice Colin Nicholson sentenced Wira to 12 years' jail on the rape charge but set a minimum parole period of six years. Offenders usually serve a third of their prison sentence before they are eligible for parole. However, under the Sentencing Act of 2002 a judge can impose a minimum period to be served in jail.
Justice Nicholson said the woman had been hitchhiking near Springs Flat, just north of Kamo, to Kerikeri when she accepted a ride from Wira. During the trip north the woman fell asleep. Wira continued to drive to a remote location where he locked the car doors when the woman tried to get out. When the woman realised she could not protect herself because of Wira's superior strength she feigned unconsciousness. Wira then raped her.
She was able to escape and flag down a passing motorist after Wira had stopped in Hikurangi. Justice Nicholson said Wira had shown "unusual callousness' by taking the vulnerable woman to such a remote area and forcing sexual activity over a sustained period. "I hope, for the sake of your fellow human beings and yourself, that you can decide to make this the last offending so you can get some sort of life for yourself and stop hurting other people," he said.
Crown prosecutor Peter Magee said Wira had committed the "appalling" offences while on parole. "He has spent most of his adult life behind bars. When he is not behind bars, he offends in a way that significantly affects members of the public," he said. He said a victim impact statement from the woman painted a tragic picture. "It's a scar she will have to carry with her even after this man's prison term is finished."
"She suffered in the hands of a man who was on parole and in the hands of a man who clearly presents as an ongoing danger to the community. "Mr Magee submitted a minimum term of imprisonment must be set as the offending was at the high end of the scale. Lawyer John Watson said Wira had an unsettled upbringing and had been in state care since 12. Wira left school at 15 and had not had a job since. Wira had convictions including aggravated robbery, aggravated wounding, assaulting police, burglary and escaping custody.
From NZ Herald story 7th October 2003
A Northland teenager hitchhiking to the Bay of Islands was picked up by a driver and raped twice before she managed to escape and flag down another passing motorist, a court was told yesterday. On trial in the High Court at Whangarei is Abel Jaye Wira, 39, unemployed of Kaitaia. Wira has pleaded not guilty to robbery, kidnapping, indecent assault, two charges of rape and two charges of unlawful sexual connection.
Crown prosecutor Mike Smith told the jury of seven women and five men about the events that led to an 18-year-old woman being allegedly raped on or about March 22. Mr Smith said evidence would be given that Wira picked up the woman about 11pm just north of Kamo after she asked for a ride to the Kerikeri area. After chatting with Wira the woman fell asleep and woke to find they had passed the Kerikeri turnoff and were near the Matauri Bay road. Evidence would be given that near Waipapa Landing Wira pulled into a layby and asked the woman for sex.
She refused, tried to laugh off the request and then tried to get out of the car. It is alleged Wira locked the car doors, ripped the woman's clothing off and raped her. The Crown also alleges a second rape occurred near Kerikeri in a roadside layby. It says the woman was able to flee after Wira stopped at a home in Hikurangi about 7am. She flagged down a motorist who took her to Whangarei Police Station. The trial continues today.
Date of Birth
Kidnap, rape and sexual assault of an 18 year old woman in Hikurangi, Northland in March 2003
Was out on parole at the time for other offences
Prior convictions include aggravated robbery, aggravated wounding, assaulting police, burglary and absconding from jail
At large in South Auckland
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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