19 Aug 2013

Man sentenced to 11 years for shade house rape

7:44 pm on 19 August 2013

The man convicted of the rape of a woman in a Nelson community garden on New Year's Day has been sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison.

Hilton Hone Heke attacked a 62-year-old volunteer worker at Victory Community Gardens as she planted seeds while alone in a shade house.

Judge Zohrab imposed a minimum non-parole period of 6.5 years when he sentenced Heke at the Nelson District Court on Monday.

Some of the details of the attack were suppressed to protect the woman's identity.

Heke's lawyer Tony Bamford says his client is struggling with what he did and has damaged the victim and her family beyond repair.