Pourshad Marco Arvand
NZ Herald story 14th April 2003
A sexual predator who drugged young Asian women has been jailed for 17 years for what the judge said was premeditated, cold and calculating offending. Justice Judith Potter also ordered Iranian-born Pourshad Marco Arvand to pay $32,500 reparation for emotional harm and to compensate the women for money stolen from their ATM and credit cards and for other expenses. His car was also confiscated. Arvand, 36, had been found guilty in the High Court at Rotorua on two counts of stupefying, six counts of aggravated assault by stupefying with intent to facilitate a crime, three counts of kidnapping, four counts of unlawful sexual connection, four counts of indecent assault and a burglary.
At the start of his trial, he had pleaded guilty to 17 fraud and theft charges relating mainly to taking the women's money cards. The Crown Solicitor for Rotorua, John McDonald, told Justice Potter that Arvand had developed a "well-polished con" to gain the women's trust before spiking their drinks with the drug diazepam. Eight of the nine victims, from Japan or Korea, were stupefied. But Mr McDonald said it flew in the face of common sense that these were his only victims. The young women were in New Zealand either as English-language students or tourists in the Rotorua area. Arvand targeted Asian women both for sexual gratification and to steal their money, said Mr McDonald.
Once their drinks were spiked, the women were in a "dream state" - in effect at Arvand's mercy and no longer in control of their own bodies. Justice Potter described how Arvand befriended the women by saying he wanted to improve his proficiency in their language. He had developed a few well-tried phrases and well-practised patter in their native tongue to gain credibility. Having struck up a conversation, Arvand would then offer to take his victim sightseeing. Once in his car, he would offer the woman a carton of Just Juice laced with diazepam and would challenge her to drink it back as quickly as possible, saying it was impolite to drink slowly in New Zealand. Arvand would then drive to the Blue and Green Lakes. By that time the victim would be drowsy and wobbly, rapidly losing control of her body and mind, the judge said.
He would take their ATM cards and in their befuddled state the victims would tell him their PIN numbers. Four of the eight women stupefied were sexually abused. Arvand's sex and fraud spree came to an end after an attack on a 17-year-old Asian woman. After spiking her drink, he took her to an ATM machine and later to a motel in Rotorua where she had "no hope of controlling what was happening to her". The young woman's host parents in Rotorua later took her to the doctor and police, said Justice Potter. Since Arvand was a "creature of habit", as Mr McDonald had described him, he was found at the same motel two days later with another young Asian woman. The judge said Arvand deliberately selected vulnerable, gullible women from Asia - the ones he felt least likely to lodge complaints.
Their experience had been terrible - the worst of their lives, some said. They spoke of their shame and embarrassment, and their inability to discuss the events with family or friends. Arvand continued to claim the women were willing and consented to the sexual acts. Justice Potter said Arvand had shown no remorse and lacked insight into his offending. There was a need for denunciation and deterrence. Arvand was a predator, who posed a significant risk to the community. It was fortunate that none of the victims had suffered long-term effects from the drugging, she said. Outside the court, Arvand's lawyer, Bill Lawson, said his client was extremely surprised by the sentence. "He thinks the sentence is severe and I have got instructions to appeal," said Mr Lawson.
Date of Birth
1967 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Pilot in Auckland
Sentenced to 17 years in April 2003, later reduced to 13 years on appeal
Eligible for release August 2006
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Pourshad Marco Arvand Supreme Court Appeal Notes
Drug predator found guilty of spiking drinks
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|15-7-2004||Appeal hearing Date is approx||Supreme Court (Wellington)||Stupefying with intent to facilitate a crime||06-06-2002||17 Years, Imprisonment||▼|