'A necessary response': Predator who abducted, bashed and sexually attacked Auckland woman to remain in jail after decades of offending

Colin Jack Mitchell has been sentenced to preventive detention and jailed indefinitely at Auckland High Court this morning for an attack on a woman at a quarry in Riverhead, Auckland, as well as offending in 1992.

Mitchell, 60, was found guilty in March on three charges over the sexually-motivated attack on a 23-year-old woman in February 2017, as well as a further three charges for offending in 1992.

"You appear for sentence today on six counts in respect of which you were unanimously convicted by a jury in March 2018," Justice Fitzgerald told the High Court at Auckland this morning.

"As you've heard there are three counts relating to offending you committed in 2017 - abduction with intent to have sexual connection, which has a maximum of 14 years imprisonment, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm which has a maximum of 14 years imprisonment and assault with intent to commit sexual violation which carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

"A further three counts relating to your offending in 1992, each of which carries a maximum of 14 years imprisonment under the Crimes Act, as it stood in 1992 - they are abduction with intent to have sexual intercourse, sexual violation through unlawful sexual connection, and rape.

"Not withstanding those maximum finite sentences, The Crown sees that an indefinite sentence of preventive detention is a necessary response to your offending."

Justice Fitzgerald said in summary that Mitchell's offending spanned decades and that combined with the fact that the minimum sentences for his crimes would put him in or around his early 70s upon his release, assuming the full term was served, he could still be healthy enough to be a danger to the community when released, leading to the sentence of preventive detention.

During the trial, the Crown said four strands of evidence pointed to Mitchell as the offender.

Those included cellphone records that put Mitchell in Riverhead at the time of the attack, CCTV footage capturing Mitchell's car in the city and entering the quarry, tyre tread marks left at the scene, and most importantly Mitchell's DNA found on gloves left at the scene.

The woman was picked up in Ponsonby and driven to Riverhead quarry, where she was bashed over the head and knocked out. After coming round, she described her desperate call to police once her attacker had gone.

"I just kept saying I'm bleeding...my whole body was covered in blood. I thought I was dying so I was saying this on the phone," she said.

"I was in shock that they couldn't find me cause I guess on the movies it seems like you call in and you're found."

She eventually made her way to the road where police were able to track her down.

Colin Jack Mitchell
Colin Jack Mitchell Source: 1 NEWS



Man charged over sexually motivated attack on female jogger in Auckland, police say same man linked to other nearby 'incidents'

A man has been charged over a sexually motivated attack in Auckland that took place last Friday, May 11.

Police say a 33-year-old male has been charged with assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

They say a woman was jogging at around 5am on May 11 beside the Northern Motorway heading towards Auckland’s CBD, when she was grabbed by a male and dragged into some bushes near St Mary’s Road.

The man has then allegedly strangled and indecently assaulted her. A passing cyclist heard her screaming and came to her aid.

The female suffered minor injuries and is very shaken up by this incident.

Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Baldwin says as a result of enquiries into the incident, they have identified the man as allegedly being linked to two further incidents in the St Marys Bay area earlier this month.

The male has also been charged with offensive behaviour and unlawfully on property relating to an incident on May 3 and has been charged with unlawfully on property relating to another incident on May 4.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS

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Spice Girls to perform at reception after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

A 1 NEWS reporter in Windsor has received "rock solid" information that the Spice Girls will perform at a reception after the royal wedding.

1 NEWS reporter Paul Hobbs told TVNZ1's Breakfast programme that "I ran into someone who I cannot reveal their name, but rock solid information".

"[It's been] long speculated that the Spice Girls would play at one of the receptions after the ceremony - I can confirm that is 100 per cent.

"Spice girls locked in - they're going to be playing."

Prince Harry is due to marry Meghan Markle early Sunday morning and 1NEWS and TVNZ1 will have full coverage starting on Saturday evening.

That’s according to 1 NEWS reporter Paul Hobbs who’s in Windsor. Source: Breakfast