Red zone car chase admitted

A man has admitted leading police on a car chase that involved speeding across empty red zone sections and crashing through fences.

Andrew Shaw, a 32-year-old who now works for a contracting firm, pleaded guilty to five charges in the Christchurch District Court and was remanded on electronically monitored bail for sentencing on November 1.

Judge Tom Gilbert referred the case for a possible restorative justice meeting with the victim of the burglary that began the incident and the owner of the car involved, a pre-sentence report, and an assessment of Shaw’s suitability for home detention.

Shaw had admitted burglary of a shipping container, dangerous driving, failing to stop for the police, driving while prohibited, and unlawfully getting into a car.

The car, a Toyota Hilux was stolen from the roadside on Attlee Crescent, Bryndwr, overnight on February 18.

Two weeks later, about 4.30am on March 3, Shaw broke into a locked container at a building site in Evelyn Couzins Avenue, Richmond. He took a large quantity of tools including nail guns, generators, post-hole borers and ladders worth $15,000 and loaded them into the Toyota.

He drove away from the scene but by then the police had been alerted to the suspicious behaviour and saw him stopped at a red light nearby at the corner of North Parade and North Avon Road.

When the police car used its lights and siren, he sped away at 80kmh, with his headlights turned off, and drove on the wrong side of the road.

He drove through a red traffic light on North Avon Road at 50kmh, and then turned onto Evelyn Couzins Avenue where he drove at speed through empty sections and crashed through fences that were securing the red zone area.

He lost control on Medway Street and nearly hit a house before abandoning the car and fleeing on foot. Police caught him soon after on the roof of a house. He was found with a balaclava and two pairs of gloves.

He told police he had been a passenger in the vehicle. He claimed he had been picked up by somebody but would not say who that person was because he was “not a nark”.

Police are asking for reparation orders of $689.25 for damaged property and fences, and $400 for damage to the vehicle.

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