Fugitive recaptured at rugby match

By Roger Moroney


Escaped prisoner David Lothien is back in police cells after being spotted watching a junior rugby game at Park Island in Napier on Saturday.

Lothien had been on the run since breaking out of a prison van that had stopped for petrol in Dannevirke last Wednesday.

He was being transported to Hawke's Bay Regional Prison from Spring Hill Prison in Waikato, via Manawatu, when he made his break after it stopped about 5.30pm.

Until yesterday, the only sighting of Lothien had been in Dannevirke, later on the night he escaped.

Senior Sergeant Luke Shadbolt said police had received information suggesting Lothien could turn up at the Park Island playing fields as it was understood a young member of his family was playing. The information turned out to be correct and he was spotted among the sideline spectators at about 9am.

"When he saw police officers he took off."

However, his running and evading skills were not as effective as those being played out on the fields and he was quickly rounded up after trying to escape across a creek and into Westminster Ave.

Mr Shadbolt said a combination of CIB, road policing and general uniformed staff quickly closed in on him as spectators watched the unfolding off-field action.

"He gave himself up quietly."

Lothien was charged with escaping custody and was due to appear in the Hastings District Court today.

Inquiries were continuing into how he had made his way back to Napier and where he had been staying.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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