An Invercargill man convicted of raping a woman in 2004 is angry she was upset by his appearance outside her house on Sunday and says what happened is in the past and she needs to get over what happened.
Craig Crofts moved next door to the woman in 2011, which outraged the community and spurred the justice minister to propose an amendment to the Harassment Act.
Crofts had moved from that address but on Sunday was seen outside the woman’s house by her partner, who said Crofts was at the end of the driveway. …
Yesterday, Crofts said he lived four blocks from the woman and had every right to walk down the street.
He had been returning from his father’s house and, though it was not his usual route, he had done nothing wrong.
There was “no particular reason” he had chosen to walk down that street, he said. As he was walking past the woman’s house, her neighbour had called out to him. He had said hello to the neighbour, but he did not stop at the end of her driveway, he said.
“It’s been eight years – it’s in the past. It’s a public area and it’s my right to walk down the street. I don’t want anything to do with her. I got over it; she needs to get over it, too.”
What a nasty piece of work. There is no way he just happened to walk home that way, and stop. He is harrassing her, after raping her.
Crofts has at least 77 convictions and has been sent to prison on 13 or more occasions. Sadly he only got four years for the 2004 rape. Since then he has been back inside at least twice – relating to breaches of harassment orders and stealing women’s underwear.
Last year, Justice Minister Judith Collins proposed a new protection order under the Harassment Act following The Southland Times’ story about Crofts moving next door to the woman he raped.
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Ms Collins said the proposed order was a priority for the minister and would probably be introduced to the House in late May.
The order would allow victims of a serious violent or sexual offence to apply to the court for protection. The advantage would be the new order relies on an application by the victim, and could include special conditions designed to address the particular circumstances of the case.
Breaching the order could be punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $5000.
For two breaches in three years, the maximum penalty would be increased to two years’ imprisonment for a third contravention.
Sounds very much needed for cases like this.