Quarry sex attacker’s crimes began as a teen
Serial rapist Colin Jack Mitchell began offending as a teenager,
Stuff can reveal. Mitchell was found guilty earlier this year of abducting a young woman off the streets of Auckland in 2017 and taking her to a secluded quarry near Riverhead with the intention of raping her.
He was also found guilty at the same trial of raping a woman in 1992 after picking her up off the side of the road near Point Chevalier.
Following his convictions,
and other media outlets asked for the details of his offending, which date back to when he was aged 15, to be lifted.
The offending began in 1973, when Mitchell was convicted of raping a woman. He was imprisoned for five years for the crime. His next known offence was a decade later.
In 1984 he was arrested for the rape, sodomy and indecent assault of a woman. He was convicted and sentenced to another five years’ imprisonment.
Yesterday, Mitchell lost his appeal against conviction and sentence, meaning the offending from 1973 could be revealed to the public.
Prior to being arrested in 2017 for the most recent attack, Mitchell’s crimes were not known to those he associated with.
He had worked at a south Auckland trucking company for more than 20 years. Outside of work, he spent time at his local Returned and Services Association in Onehunga, where he eventually became president.
At trial earlier this year, Crown prosecutor Kirsten Lummis described Mitchell as a prowler.
‘‘Most of the time Mr Mitchell is a law-abiding citizen,’’ she said.
‘‘But Mr Mitchell has a dark, sinister side. A side that only comes out in the black of night . . . the Crown says he turns into a prowler.’’
Mitchell denied the offending at trial, claiming the 1992 rape was consensual and that he did not commit the 2017 Riverhead quarry attack.
The strongest piece of evidence was a glove found at the scene of the quarry attack which had Mitchell’s DNA on it. He claimed at trial he had tried on gloves at The Warehouse a month or so earlier, and that the attacker must have purchased the same pair of gloves and left them at the scene. His strange alibi was made stranger when he claimed that on the night of the attack, he had spent the evening bathing his legs at Onehunga Beach.
During the course of DNA testing for the Riverhead quarry attack, the gloves produced a match with DNA collected from the unsolved 1992 rape.
At his sentencing in May, Dr Jeremy Skipworth assessed that Mitchell was of high risk of sexual reoffending, in particular against vulnerable women who were strangers to him.
Justice Fitzgerald said there was a clear and disturbing pattern of sexual offending.
Mitchell is serving a sentence of preventive detention.
Colin Jack Mitchell appearing at the Auckland District Court following his arrest.