Rapist could have bolted - stepfather
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