Five years for horrific attack

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A Queenstown builder has been jailed for five years for sexually assaulting a woman in the resort in 2017.

For the first time, Mountain Scene can name him as Richard Lee Robinson.

The 32-year-old Australian national, who moved to the resort in 2007, had name suppression until his sentencing on July 26.

He was found guilty of three charges of sexual violation and one of assault with a weapon, on April 24, 2017, after a three-day jury trial in Invercargill in March.

Judge Mark Callaghan said the victim was in town when she received messages from Robinson referring to posts on her social media page.

Because he did not have access to the page, she suspected he was in her home at that moment.

She returned home to find her laptop missing, so went into the adjoining dwelling to find Robinson standing in the laundry, holding the laptop. He pushed the laptop into her face and put his hand around her jaw and throat.

When she tried to run outside, he chased her, pulled her to the floor and threatened to rape her and then kill himself.

He then sexually violated her twice.

On two occasions she managed to get to her feet, open the door and shout for help, but each time he closed the door.

He then sexually violated her for a third time. She managed to escape outside while the defendant was struggling to take his trousers off.

Callaghan said the victim suffered “severe trauma” from the attack.

In her victim impact statement, she said she felt “dehumanised” by it.

A pre-sentence report stated Robinson had suffered from anxiety and depression for about 15 years, and was on medication at the time of the offending.

His counsel, Fiona Guy Kidd QC, said his mental health issues, and the liquidation of his company, should be mitigating factors in sentencing.

From a starting point of six years’ prison, Callaghan made deductions for Robinson’s mental health issues and for the fact he would be an Australian national serving a prison sentence in New Zealand.

He imposed 18 months’ prison for the assault with a weapon charge, to be served concurrently.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz