Rapist could have bolted - step­fa­ther

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - FAIR­FAX RE­PORTER

The step­fa­ther ac­cused of as­sault­ing his step­daugh­ter’s rapist has told a court he lis­tened to the teenager sob­bing the night be­fore the al­leged at­tack.

The man be­gan giv­ing ev­i­dence in his de­fence in the Wellington Dis­trict Court yes­ter­day, and told the jury that a few days ear­lier he had beaten up Ja­son Haward for rap­ing his 15-year-old step­daugh­ter in Para­pa­raumu last year.

On the day of the rape – for which Haward has been con­victed and jailed – the man said he had been at his part­ner’s house and heard a com­mo­tion out­side.

He found his step­daugh­ter naked, crouched down by a car, and Haward stand­ing over her.

He re­alised the girl had been at­tacked. ‘‘I lost the plot ... and started hit­ting him.’’

He told the jury he hit Haward about 10 times, knocked him to the ground, picked him up and kept hit­ting him.

As he was calm­ing down, his part­ner came out of the house and said Haward had raped the girl.

She knocked Haward down and kicked him in the head.

Haward was say­ing the girl had robbed him, and he was try­ing to find his wal­let.

The step­fa­ther said he gave a state­ment to the po­lice and was told that, un­der the cir­cum­stances, the beat­ing was what any rea­son­able per­son would do.

He was not charged over that as­sault.

On the night be­fore the al­leged se­cond as­sault, he told the jury that all he could hear was his step­daugh­ter sob­bing.

He de­scribed try­ing to get hold of po­lice to pass on in­for­ma­tion, but no-one an­swered the in­ter­com at the Kapiti po­lice sta­tion, and the fam­ily could not reach any­one on the phone.

As he and his part­ner were driv­ing down Kapiti Rd, they saw Haward. The man said he hit Haward, but Haward took a swing at him first.

‘‘I did not in­tend to in­jure him, just to keep him there till the po­lice ar­rived, and I fig­ured he would be locked up straight away.’’

He said he was frus­trated and an­gry at what he saw as an in­ept po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

No med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion of his step­daugh­ter had been ar­ranged, and he was un­able to con­tact any­one.

He told the jury he be­lieved Haward’s ar­rest and con­vic- tion was due to his ac­tions, rather than any­thing done by the po­lice.

He said he was wor­ried Haward would bolt, and kept telling oth­ers who were try­ing to sep­a­rate them not to let Haward go.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Adele Gar­rick asked him if he knew he had no right to re­strain Haward.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally care,’’ he said. ‘‘I pre­sume any fa­ther put into that sit­u­a­tion would re­act in the same way.

‘‘I will not ac­cept that what I did was wrong for one split se­cond.’’

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, Con­sta­ble Ben­jamin Reed said he had been called to the scene on April 23 last year and had taken the step­fa­ther back to the Kapiti po­lice sta­tion. He asked him what he had done.

He told the jury the man said he had hit Haward eight or nine times.

‘‘He said it wasn’t enough,’’ Reed said.

The man also said he tried to kick Haward in the tes­ti­cles, and had done so be­cause Haward had raped his step­daugh­ter.

Wit­ness John Batty, who helped sep­a­rate the two men, said he no­ticed Haward had a black eye and was bleed­ing from his lip.

He said the man who was the ag­gres­sor kept up a tirade of words, in­clud­ing ‘‘It was you, you raped her, I’m go­ing to get you.’’

Haward was deny­ing the ac­cu­sa­tions, and Batty said he was say­ing some­thing like ‘‘It wasn’t me, you don’t know what you’re talk­ing about. I’ve got a fam­ily I wouldn’t do any­thing like that.’’

In her clos­ing ad­dress to the jury, Gar­rick said the man was an­gry and frus­trated, took mat­ters into his own hands, and se­ri­ously as­saulted Haward.

She said jurors may feel sym­pa­thy or anger for Haward, or be­lieve that the man’s frus­tra­tion was un­der­stand­able, but they had to put their emo­tions aside.

‘‘This is about what the de­fen­dant did, not what Haward did,’’ she said.

De­fence lawyer Peter Fos­ter said the jury should act in the same fair-minded way they would ex­pect to if one of their own fam­ily was charged the way his client was.

He said it was the de­fence case that the man had no in­ten­tion to in­jure Haward, only to hand him over to the po­lice.

The be­gin Mon­day. jury is ex­pected de­lib­er­a­tions to on

PHOTO: MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIR­FAX NZ

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