Honeymoon kidnappers sentenced
12 July 2007, WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Two men who kidnapped a Dutch couple honeymooning in New Zealand, robbing them and raping the woman, were sentenced Thursday to lengthy prison terms.
12 July 2007
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Two men who kidnapped a Dutch couple honeymooning in New Zealand, robbing them and raping the woman, were sentenced Thursday to lengthy prison terms.
Keith Anthony McEwen, 30, was sentenced in the High Court to imprisonment with a maximum 10-year non-parole period, with Judge Tony Randerson applying a special measure that could mean McEwan never leaves prison.
Co-defendant Christopher Mana Manuel, 27, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of six years.
The two in May pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and aggravated robbery during the attack on the Dutch tourists on 10 November last year. The court did not release the identities of the couple.
McEwen also pleaded guilty to rape, five charges of sexually violating the woman and six other charges relating to kidnapping and armed robbery. Manuel admitted being a party to sexual violation.
The two men, armed with a shotgun and wearing masks, burst in on the couple as they prepared for bed in their camper van, parked at the remote Haruru Falls near Paihia in northern New Zealand.
They told the honeymooners they were police before holding a shotgun under the husband's chin and demanding money, saying they would rape his wife if he did not comply.
The Dutch tourists were handcuffed and the woman forced to swallow sedatives and gagged with tape before McEwen attacked her.
The two abductors tied up the couple and drove the van around the area for several hours, taking property from them and forcing the pair to withdraw cash from bank machines.
The couple and the van were dumped at the tiny settlement of Towai, 880 kilometres north of the capital, Wellington, in the early hours of the following morning.
Randerson imposed a so-called "preventive detention" sentence against McEwen, which allows a convicted offender to he held in prison indefinitely beyond his minimum sentence if authorities judge he has not shown evidence of reforming.
The judge said the attack had horrified the community and had caused substantial harm to New Zealand's reputation overseas.
The couple had been getting counselling, he said, and both felt they could not return to the Netherlands because of the publicity it had generated there, Randerson said.
[Copyright AP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news