You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Manhunt sequel played out in Rotorua court

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

The sequel to a manhunt across central and eastern North Island following the alleged kidnapping of a 15-year-old south Auckland girl is being played out in the Rotorua District Court.

A 38-year-old man faces one count of abduction at Cape Runaway between August 2 and 8, 2015, three of sexual connection with the girl at Maraetai, Taupo and Rotorua, and seven burglary charges.

The man, whose name is suppressed until at least the end of the trial, has denied each count.

The Rotorua and Taupo sex charges are representative, meaning they allegedly happened more than once.

Crown prosecutor Chris Macklin said the alleged victim was regarded as missing by her family after she and the defendant left a Manurewa property together on July 17, 2015.

On August 1, she managed to get hold a cell phone, contacting her sister and asking for help.

A Facebook campaign was launched to figure out where she was.

Mr Macklin said after a tip-off the girl's father, other family members and friends went to a Rotorua property where they saw the defendant, who passed himself off as someone else.

"After they left, they had a light bulb moment, realised it was a ruse, the person they were dealing with was the defendant, so returned and told him they were worried sick about the girl," Mr Macklin said.

He said when a car drove up the defendant leaned into it as if to pull something out and in menacing tones talked of wanting a shoot-out.

"The defendant indicated if the group returned in an hour he would arrange for the girl to meet with them," he said.

Police became involved but by then the couple had driven off towards East Cape.

Mr Macklin said they were found there when the defendant's car became stuck in a driveway after he had burgled a property, stealing a generator.

Property from other burglaries across the central North Island were found at the Rotorua house where the girl's relatives and friends had confronted the defendant.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon