Sleeping driver ‘hijacked’

A man who “hijacked a guy” sleeping in his car on September 23, admitted charges of kidnapping, dangerous driving, unlawfully taking a car, and failing to stop for police in the Christchurch District Court.

Michael Mamea, 31, approached the man in his car in Hawdon Street, Sydenham, at 9.15am. He got the man to move into the passenger seat and drove him to an address in Hornbrook Street. He parked in the driveway and told the victim that he was a gang member and as long as he stayed in the car he would be safe.

Mamea went into the address and returned with two more men, telling them he had “hijacked this guy”.

He drove to a nearby service station. When they pulled in he took $40 cash from the victim and went into the station to prepay for petrol.

While he was putting petrol into the tank the victim got out of the car and went into the station acting as though he was going to buy a drink. He raised the alarm with the staff, telling them he had been kidnapped.

Mamea realised what had happened and drove out of the station.

He was spotted by a police officer travelling on Anzac Drive, and failed to stop when the officer used his flashing lights and siren.

He drove through a red light across Pages Road, and then again at Wainoni Road, and was pursued for about five minutes, reaching speeds of 70 to 80kmh.

On Mairehau Road the police used road spikes to try to stop the car, but Mamea saw them and tried to avoid them. He lost control of the car, ran off the road, and into a ditch.

Judge Raoul Neave read Mamea the second of the three strike warnings for repeat violent offenders, which means he will not get early release from prison, and remanded him in custody for sentencing on June 19.

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