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NZ: Repeat rapist sentenced (Waikato/Wellington)

Publish Date: 21 May 2011
Source: The Dominion Post

PREVENTIVE DETENTION: Lyle Muncaster was told yesterday that his release from prison was probably "many, many years'' away when he was no longer a danger to women.

Rapist Lyle Keith Muncaster's past has caught up with him.

He was sentenced yesterday for an attack on a woman in Waikato in October 2007, the third time he has been caught for rape.

Muncaster, 39, threatened to kill her and her family if she went to police.

The threat worked. It was not until more than a year later, when the woman read a newspaper report about him being jailed for another offence, that she felt safe to speak to police.

At the time he raped her, he had committed, but not been caught for, a series of sex crimes against a woman in 2006.

Those crimes caught up with him in December 2008 when he was sentenced to serve at least 12 years of an open-ended term of preventive detention.

The victims of that crime and an earlier rape in 1995 were both women with whom Muncaster had some form of domestic relationship. The latest victim knew him through a mutual friend.

For the 1995 sex offence, he was sentenced in December 1996 to 12 years' jail and was freed in 2004.

He was still on parole when he was arrested for the 2006 crimes. At his sentencing in 2008 for those offences, he was told that, if he did not respond to treatment, he faced spending the rest of his life in prison.

That was reinforced in the High Court at Wellington yesterday when Justice Ron Young told him release from jail was probably "many, many years" away, when Muncaster was no longer a danger to women.

The incident for which he was jailed yesterday happened as he was driving the victim home after looking at a car with her. He passed the turnoff to her house and told her he was going to rape her.

When she began crying uncontrollably, he threatened to kill her if she did not stop crying. Her ordeal lasted several hours, culminating in her being raped in his car at a secluded picnic spot after dark.

The victim's statement about the effect on her was chilling, Justice Young said. The offences substantially affected her emotional stability and her life generally. Muncaster pleaded guilty to charges of rape, abduction, two of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, and threatening to kill.

He was sentenced to 10 1/2 years' jail, to run concurrently with the preventive detention term he is already serving.

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