The Timaru Herald

Victim queries police response

- Yashas Srinivasa

A Timaru woman who woke to find an intruder in her home in the early hours of Sunday has been left questionin­g the initial response of police who told her the man was drunk and had been taken home.

Chantelle Hanley said she was asleep in her home in central Timaru when she was woken about 1.30am by the sound of someone rustling around in her kitchen.

“I thought it was my son coming home – I did not worry as he often makes himself a snack,” Hanley said.

“But my two dogs were barking and then my bedroom door opened and in came a pakeha man, well into his 30s, who stood at the end of my bed.”

Hanley said she had never seen the man before, and feared she was in danger.

“I told him in clear language to leave. He then tried to quiet the dogs and moved to the side of my bed.

“I was feeling very unsafe, very nervous and it’s been very unsettling for me. When I saw him at the end of my bed, I thought he was going to rape me.

“Screaming, I called my son from his bedroom and the man tried to push past my son and tried to enter his bedroom.”

Hanley said she and her son were terrified and asked the man to leave the house which he eventually did.

When they followed him outside, they saw the man had “for some unexplaine­d reason” stacked wood on her car and opened a barbecue.

“He climbed a fence in to a back property and left. He clearly seemed to know what he was doing.

“I followed him and rang 111. Police located him and I asked he be arrested. Instead the police said that they thought he was drunk and took him home as he thought he was in his own home.”

Hanley said the man’s house was in another suburb, a completely different looking house compared to hers with no similar car parked in the driveway.

“And I do not believe the man has a 6 foot 3 red-headed son.”

She had made others in her neighbourh­ood aware of the incident, and a lot of women who live alone on the street were feeling unsafe, she said. Hanley said her next ordeal began with the police’s decision not to charge the man, or take a statement from her on the night of the incident.

When she informed her father, a former Senior Sergeant with NZ Police, he asked her to contact a senior police officer and make a complaint. After further calls to police she got a call from an officer who suggested they come to the police station yesterday and speak to a detective.

Yesterday Senior Sergeant Richard Quested, of Timaru, confirmed police had taken a statement in relation to the incident and an investigat­ion had been launched.

Quested said they could not comment further.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand