26 Sep 2009

Preventive detention for kidnap of Wairarapa woman

7:52 pm on 26 September 2009

A man who kidnapped and seriously injured a real-estate agent has been sentenced to preventive detention with a non-parole period of five years.

Nigel Whakarau, 39, was sentenced in the High Court in Wellington on Thursday on charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to rob and aggravated robbery.

Whakarau met Kelly McIsaac at a remote rural property in Wairarapa in August last year, tied her up and tried to force her into the boot of his car

Ms McIsaac grabbed a screwdriver and crowbar to use in her defence and managed to escape but suffered significant injuries, including severe bruising and broken bone in her throat.

The court heard that Whakarau had lost his job due to health reasons and robbed the woman to pay an outstanding child support debt.

It was not the first time he had carried out such an attack. In 1996, he forced Roy King into the boot of a car, demanded money and drove around with the Taranaki man for 11 hours.

Justice Miller said Whakarau had a limited ability to empathise with his victims and it was debatable whether age would reduce his risk of reoffending.

Ms McIsaac told Radio New Zealand she was pleased at the sentence and would take a close interest in future parole hearings for Whakarau, as she believes there will be other victims if he is let out of jail.

She says that when Whakarau tried to force her into the boot she took the chance to fight back after seeing the screwdriver and crowbar, but

was fearful that he would use the items to kill her.