Police solve rape case after 15 years

By Regan Paranihi

Wiremu Abraham has been sentenced to eight years and one month in prison following a fifteen year-long investigation into a rape incident in Kaitaia in 2003.

Detective Sergeant Mark Dalzell says it’s satisfying to finally hold someone accountable for the crime and police are pleased to give the victim some closure.

“I have been a police officer for over 30 years and this was one of the unsolved cases that stuck in the back of my mind and I couldn’t let go,” says Dalzell.

In 2003, the victim, who was 34 at the time, was sexually attacked by Abraham in her home while she was sleeping with her children.

Police carried out extensive inquiries following the incident in 2003 but were unable to find a result for DNA evidence left at the scene.

“This was a shocking, targeted attack and crime like this are rare in our town,” says Dalzell.

Last year, Abraham was arrested on an unrelated matter and his DNA was taken, providing a match for DNA recovered at the Kaitaia incident.

Dalzell says he never gave up hope that the case would be solved.

“We promised our victim that we would not close the case and we were determined to eventually solve it.”

Dalzell has acknowledged the victim, who suffered from mental trauma following the attack, for her cooperation as well as the team who worked on the case.

“We want offenders to know that we will continue to work hard on our unsolved cases and you will eventually be caught.”