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Victim of brutal rape blames DHB for failing to care for her attacker

A victim of a brutal rape in her own home by a psychotic stranger blames the Nelson Marlborough DHB for failing to care for him.

The man was diagnosed as being in a psychotic state and a high risk of harming others after turning up to the emergency department.

But after failing to be seen by the mental health crisis team he walked out and within an hour launched his vicious attack.

It was just before 7pm two years ago, Sarah Preece was alone in her Nelson home on the computer when she looked up to see a man in front of her.

“He said my name is Jacob Jensen. I’ve got an hour and a half to live and I’m going to rape you first,” Ms Preece recounts to TVNZ1’s Sunday.

Over the next 45 minutes Ms Preece was savagely beaten around the head and then raped.

“I was just trying every way I could to survive.”

Hours earlier, it was her attacker asking for help.

Jacob Jensen had been acting strangely and at around 3.30pm he turned up at Nelson Hospital’s emergency department telling a nurse people wanted to kill him.

He’s assessed as psychotic and at high risk of self-harm and harming others. He’s referred to the mental health crisis team, but they’re unavailable.

With no further help, he leaves the hospital nearly three hours after first arriving.

Survivor advocate Ruth Money says people suffering with mental health issues often try to get help but can’t access it.

“This was wholly, wholly preventable and it’s utterly tragic for everyone involved including him,” she says.

An hour after the attack, police apprehended Jacob Jensen.

Despite numerous charges, her never faced trial after a judge ruled him not guilty by reason of insanity.

He’s now detained indefinitely in a mental health unit.

Left with brain injuries and emotionally traumatised, Ms Preece wanted answers from the DHB as to why Jensen didn’t get the help he so desperately needed.

“They were completely and utterly uncooperative,” she says.

She finally got hold of the hospital’s own review under the Official Information Act.

“This review found that even though someone had come to the hospital seeking help and left without receiving it, they don’t think they could have done anything different.”

The review found Jensen had no risk factors despite records obtained by TVNZ1’s Sunday programme showed he’s been assessed as high risk of harm.

“The DHB needs to be honest, put their hands in the air and apologise for all the lies and all the cover-ups,” says Ms Money.

In a statement to Sunday, the health board denies there’s been a cover up and says it’s made changes to its mental health rosters so that staff are more readily available.

Watch Sunday's full investigation on OnDemand.
 

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The attacker was diagnosed with being in a psychotic state before the vicious attack. Source: 1 NEWS