5 Sep 2018

Trainee childcare worker gets six years' jail for kidnapping

7:40 pm on 5 September 2018

A 20-year-old woman sentenced to six years and seven months in prison over the kidnapping of two women in Auckland earlier this year was on bail at the time and had a raft of previous offenses.

Auckland District Court

Auckland District Court Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Lenora Mahanga and three teenagers were charged over the May kidnapping, an ordeal that lasted three hours for the women who confronted the group trying to steal their car in Auckland's CBD.

Mahanga, a trainee childcare worker, had a raft of previous offenses.

Auckland District Court Judge Gibson said he had read her letter of remorse but did not believe it.

"You were a mini crime wave even before the events of 3rd of May."

The two victims were assaulted and when their car wouldn't start, they were forced to walk around town with the offenders while they looked for another car to steal.

They were told a screw driver held to their backs was a knife. The two women were then bundled into the boot of a stolen car and driven to South Auckland where the car crashed down a five metre bank.

One of the victims told the Auckland District Court she was left traumatised, and now found it hard to be a passenger in a vehicle.

"At the time of the incident I was terrified and feared for my life. The whole incident was long...I wondered where I was going to end up or even if I would get out alive."

She suffered a broken jaw from being assaulted, and injuries from the crash. She dreaded the day she would come face-to-face with the offenders on the street.

Judge Gibson told Mahanga the kidnapping was an appalling incident that left the victims with physical and psychological damage.

"How you could treat people like that is beyond me.

"Had not the crash occurred I think the matter would have developed and been far more serious."

Judge Gibson said Mahanga was at high risk of reoffending.

"It will be many years before the public is free of you. I'd be surprised if after rehab in jail you are not still a risk."