Rapist hit victim and mother, 67, in attack

Teanewa Joseph Ipo forced both his victims into a wardrobe. File  photo / Supplied

Teanewa Joseph Ipo forced both his victims into a wardrobe. File photo / Supplied

A man who burst into a Auckland woman’s home, raped and then beat her before he trapped her in a wardrobe has been found guilty of the attack.

Teanewa Joseph Ipo, 30, was last week found guilty in the High Court at Auckland of two counts of kidnapping, one of wounding with intent, two of rape, one of injuring with intent to injure, one of theft and one of aggravated burglary.

The trial lasted two weeks. Pre-sentence reports have been called for before Ipo is sentenced in March.  Shortly after the February 5, 2008, attack – and while Ipo was still on the loose – his Malaysian-born victim told the Herald of her harrowing ordeal.  The 46 year-old was asleep in her Otahuhu home when she felt someone repeatedly hitting her on the head.

“I thought I was dreaming … When I woke up a dark shadow of a man was standing at my bed.”  She fought back as he tried to smother her with a pillow. “I tried to struggle because he tried to push [down] on me. I kicked him and he got angry and punched me on my head and my face.”

Her screams woke her 67-year-old mother, who rushed from the next room fearing her daughter would be killed. “Mum tried to pull him off, then this guy punched my mum’s face and kicked her in the back and chest.

“She tried to help, to fight with the man. She knew she can’t fight with him, but she tried to save me.”  The man grabbed a belt and hit the woman’s mother with the buckle end.  He then used the belt to tie her up, before locking her in a wardrobe and returning to rape the dazed woman. “He makes us feel not safe,” she said. “We feel like something is always in our heart, like a dark shadow.”

She asked him: “Why you do this to me?” He replied: “You know what I want.”

After the attack the woman’s clothing and bedding were covered in blood. Two hours after breaking into her home, the man forced the woman into the wardrobe with her mother, pushing a sidetable up against it so they could not escape.   Ten minutes after he had gone the women escaped from the wardrobe and called a friend who notified the police.

The women were taken to hospital, where the daughter was treated for five missing teeth, cuts to her head, a fractured cheek, badly swollen jaw and severe bruising around her neck, arms and wrists.

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