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Dome Valley attacker pleads guilty

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017

One of six people charged after a young woman was found dumped and left for dead on a road north of Auckland has pleaded guilty to tasering and assaulting her.

Julie-Ann Torrance appeared in the High Court at Auckland on Thursday, to reverse her earlier not guilty pleas and instead pled guilty to a range of charges related to two attacks on a 19-year-old woman in April and May 2016.

Torrance along with Nicola Jones and Cameron Hakeke, was charged with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and assaulting the now 20-year-old with a taser during an initial attack on April 23.

However, Torrance reversed her stand on Thursday, pleading guilty to tasering the woman and to playing a secondary role in assaulting her by cutting her hair with scissors.

Torrance and Jones still face an additional charge of attempted murder over a separate kidnapping and attack on the same victim, who was found critically hurt near State Highway 1 north of Auckland in May, 2016.

While Torrance maintains her not guilty plea for attempted murder, on Thursday she pleaded guilty to a secondary role in assaulting the woman with a cricket wicket and stomping on her hand and breaking her fingers.

Prosecutors had earlier said Torrance, Jones, Michelle Blom and Jacyln Keates had kidnapped the woman and launched a prolonged attack on her in the basement of Blom's house.

They beat her with a cricket wicket and bat and sexually violated her before Torrance, Jones and Blackett drove her to the Dome Valley where they hit her with a hammer and left her for dead, prosecutors say.

The trial continues.

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