19 Jun 2013

Rape accused tells court of tough life

6:59 pm on 19 June 2013

A man accused of raping and abducting a teenager has told a jury of a tough upbringing that included torture, abuse and dehumanisation while in state care.

Michael Shane Lihou is facing eight charges in the High Court at Wellington.

The 44-year-old told the court on Wednesday that he had been moved from pillar to post, had been taken off his parents when he was six or seven years old and became a ward of the state at eight.

Mr Lihou said that by 14, he was in prison and spent about 35 years institutionalised in boys' homes or prisons.

Earlier, the court heard details of two previous convictions - one of rape and kidnapping in the 1980s and the other in the 1990s was for kidnapping only.

Mr Lihou had been out of prison for two years when arrested and told the jury he was determined not to go back to jail and had started working on an autobiography.