Brent Stoddart Burne
A 42-year-old man was jailed for seven years and three months yesterday for an attack on a female colleague he claimed was a practical joke.
Brent Stoddart Burne, of Flaxmere, was found guilty by a jury of abducting the woman on April 20 with intent to have sex with her.He had earlier admitted wounding her with reckless disregard for her safety in the same incident.
He had also admitted two unrelated offences of theft as a servant and theft from a workmate of more than $50,000 worth of tools and other property between December 1994 and April this year and one of burgling his employer's business in April.
The proceeds of those offences were found in a police search of his home after his arrest on the April 20 charges.
The woman told the two-day trial in Napier District Court before Judge Geoff Rea and a jury she feared for her life as she fought off a man who attacked her as she left her job at Awatoto, 6km south of Napier.
She said a man wearing a balaclava and a mask and holding a knife grabbed her, forced her on to her back and tried to force her head into a bag.
Burne said in a videotaped interview with police that he was playing a practical joke on the woman and had no intention of hurting her.
He also said he was trying to teach the woman to be more careful about her personal safety as she left work.
Yesterday his lawyer Russell Fairbrother said Burne had no criminal history and came from a law-abiding family. He said the attack was ill-conceived and poorly executed but Burne was unlikely to reoffend and looking forward to receiving psychological counselling in prison.
Graham Lang, for the Crown, said the attack occurred at night and in a lonely spot. It was planned as indicated by the use of the mask, knife and bag and he did not stop the attack until a passer-by intervened.
Judge Rea said the woman deserved the highest credit for her courage. He also said it was good to know there were people in the community prepared to place themselves at risk to help others, referring to the motorist who rescued her.
He sentenced Burne to six years jail for the attack on the woman and an extra nine months for the burglary and thefts.
Date of Birth
1959 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Man jailed seven years for 'practical joke'
Brent Stoddart Burne Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|20-06-2002||Appeal hearing||Court of Appeal Napier||Detaining for sexual purposes||20-04-2001||5 Years, 6 Months, Imprisonment||▼|