Police have arrested a 34-year-old unemployed man for the rape of an elderly woman in her Rotorua home yesterday.

Rotorua police Detective Sergeant John Wilson said the victim, who was in her 70s, was woken by the man breaking into her house about 3am.

The man attacked and raped the woman before running off toward Rotorua lakefront.

“It was a shocking crime involving the violation of a defenceless elderly woman,” he said.

The man would appear in Rotorua District Court tomorrow charged with sexual violation by rape, Mr Wilson said.

“Police are relieved at having made an early arrest for such a senseless and violent crime against a vulnerable elderly victim,” he said.

Police today carried out a search of an area of reserve which backed on to where the victim lives.

Mr Wilson said earlier that the woman was doing “pretty well” considering her ordeal.