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Man accused of abduction has dark side - Crown

Colin Jack Mitchell is on trial for kidnapping, causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting a woman with intent to sexually violate her. - Photo: Stuff

Colin Jack Mitchell, accused of abducting a young woman and driving her to a quarry, has a dark side that comes out at night, the Crown says.

Today lawyers for the Crown and defence made their closing arguments at the High Court in Auckland where Colin Jack Mitchell is on trial, facing charges of kidnapping, causing grievous bodily harm, and assaulting a woman with intent to sexually violate her.

Crown prosecutor Kirsten Lummis told the jurors the case against Colin Mitchell was composed of many jigsaw pieces, but one of the larger ones would have to be the gloves found at the crime scene - 25km north-west of Auckland - at a Riverhead quarry.

She said they were found to have Mr Mitchell's DNA on them - 800,000,000,000 times more likely to belong to Mr Mitchell than another person chosen at random.

"The Crown would say: 'Well, he's one of the unluckiest men in Auckland, if he's to be believed.' The one pair of gloves he chooses to pick up and try on at the Warehouse - the one pair in a three pack, no less - happens to be the very same pair that ends up bang in the middle of a crime scene."

Ms Lummis said Mr Mitchell's apparent "bad luck" got worse.

"The crime scene where a Ford Mondeo, just like the one driven by Mr Mitchell, is seen entering and exiting. A Ford Mondeo that has a tow bar, just like Mr Mitchell's car. A Ford Mondeo that appears to have a sticker on the driver's side windshield - just like Mr Mitchell's Ford Mondeo."

Then there was the evidence that put his cellphone in the same area, at a time when - Mr Mitchell has told the court - he was kilometres away at a park in Avondale.

"And the one day he chooses to spend over an hour cleaning his car, just happens to be later that morning."

She told the jurors Mitchell had stumbled for answers and had lied to them in an effort to explain the compelling evidence.

"Mr Mitchell has a dark side. It comes out late at night and in the early hours of the morning when he's alone, wanting to dominate women, young women, wanting to show power and control."

She said while Mr Mitchell was able to use the water blaster at work to wash away evidence on his car, he was not able to use a waterblaster at the scene. As well as leaving behind the gloves, there were tyre tracks in the dirt which were a partial match to his.

But Mr Mitchell's lawyer, Mark Ryan, said it was not his client and it was not his car.

"Drunk, unconscious ... wearing a dress, in a car, somewhere from Great North Road to Riverhead and not one iota of forensic evidence to support that proposition."

He said there wasn't even evidence that Mr Mitchell's car had recently been cleaned inside.

Mr Ryan said the cellphone pinging data was unreliable and imprecise. He also addressed the DNA found in the gloves at the quarry.

"So how can you be sure, just because Mr Mitchell's DNA turned up on those gloves that he is responsible? Because you have the other DNA which wasn't tested because Ms Melia [from the ESR] wasn't asked to test it, found inside the glove from a probable wearer of the glove."

He told the jurors the Crown had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

"The Crown case needs to have several strands of the rope being strong and firm, those strands that I've just discussed with you are very, very, very weak."

Tomorrow the jurors will hear Justice Fitzgerald sum up the case before they retire to consider their verdicts.


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