Court hears woman tell of horror, confusion after she woke with man standing over her after alleged Auckland attack

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NZN

A court has heard of a woman's horror and confusion at waking to see a man standing over her in a mask, threatening to kill her.

Harrowing evidence was heard in the High Court in Auckland today.
Source: 1 NEWS

Colin Jack Mitchell, 59, is on trial at the High Court at Auckland accused of taking the woman to a secluded quarry on Auckland's outskirts last February with the intention of raping her.

He denies any involvement and has pleaded not guilty to three charges, including abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

But prosecutors say Mitchell was prowling Auckland's streets opportunistically hunting for a victim when he saw the young woman on Great North Road walking home drunk and alone.

Days later in an interview with police played to the court today, the woman sobbed and told of her shock at the attack.

Having earlier been drinking with friends at Karangahape Road, she had no memory of how she had gotten to the quarry and was only jolted awake by a sudden hit to her head, she said.

Her dress already removed and feeling blood on her temple, she saw a man standing over her holding what looked like a baseball bat, she said.

He demanded she turn around, but she refused and tried to talk him down, saying, "you don't have to be this person".

Instead, he kept hitting her and her next memory was scrambling away calling 111 with her phone, she said.

What followed was an hour of panic as police could not find where she was because she had no data on her phone to GPS locate her and could not find a street sign to direct them to.

When police finally found her, she ran to them looking for a hug, but they refused so as not to interfere with investigations.

Crown prosecutor Kirsten Lummis earlier told the jury, police linked Mitchell to the crime by security camera footage of his car driving past the woman as she walked home and DNA evidence found on a glove at the crime scene.

She said Mitchell appeared a law abiding citizen who had kept a trucking job with the same company for 20 years and helped out at his local Returned Services Association for ex soldiers.

But he also has "a dark sinister side that only comes out in the black of night", she said.

He attacked the woman "to exert control, to overpower and to dominate" her, she said.

Mitchell claims he was bathing his sore legs at Onehunga beach on the night of the attack with his lawyer Mark Ryan saying he had nothing to do with it and urging the jury to listen to all the evidence carefully.

The trial continues.

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