Quarry sex attacker jailed indefinitely
A man found guilty of the abduction, assault and intended sexual assault of a young woman in Auckland has been sentenced to preventive detention and jailed indefinitely.
Yesterday at the High Court in Auckland, Colin Jack Mitchell received the sentence for his attack on a young woman at the Riverhead quarry in north Auckland last year and the rape and abduction of a woman in 1992.
He sat emotionless in the dock as he was sentenced by Justice Sally Fitzgerald. He will serve a minimum of 10 years. His unravelling began with two misplaced gloves and ended with six guilty verdicts on his 60th birthday at his trial in February. For more than three weeks, jurors listened to evidence about the attack on a woman at a quarry in Riverhead in north Auckland. He was also on trial for charges relating to a rape from 1992, and he had other rape convictions.
In the early hours of February 26, 2017, police found a bloodied woman in a remote quarry in north Auckland. The victim at the centre of the case had been at the Auckland Pride Parade but was abducted shortly after and taken to the quarry.
Mitchell abducted the woman with the intent to sexually violate her but the woman escaped.
During the trial in February, Mitchell denied any wrongdoing, and claimed on the night of the attack he was at home and later went to paddle at Onehunga beach.
Yesterday, he was also sentenced for the historic and unsolved rape in 1992.
During DNA testing for the Riverhead quarry attack, two black gloves produced a match with DNA collected from the 1992 rape. At trial, Mitchell fought the allegations relating to the 1992 rape and the more recent Riverhead attack.
He claimed that in 1992 he had consensual sex with the woman. For the Riverhead charges he went further, arguing he was not the attacker at all despite his DNA being at the scene.
The victim of the Riverhead quarry attack became increasingly emotional while reading her victim impact statement to the court. Its contents were suppressed by Justice Fitzgerald.
Crown prosecutor Kirsten Lummis argued for a sentence of preventive detention. This would mean Mitchell would be managed by the Corrections Department for the rest of his life and could be recalled to prison at any time.
In her sentencing Justice Fitzgerald detailed both the 2017 and 1992 incidents.
‘‘Your offending and its aftermath have been a harrowing ordeal.’’
Dr Jeremy Skipworth assessed that Mitchell was athigh risk of sexual reoffending, in particular to vulnerable females who were strangers to him.
Justice Fitzgerald said there was a clear and disturbing pattern of sexual offending and clear similarity of the offending, predatory nature and seeking out vulnerable victims.
‘‘Your sexual deviancy has not diminished over time and the scale of your offending has escalated,’’ she said.
‘‘The pattern of offending has extended over most of your adult life; there is no basis for me to conclude that it will stop.’’
Mitchell has recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer and suffers from type 2 diabetes.