Human shield accused denied prison leave

The man accused of using his partner's baby son to shield himself from police pepper spray was yesterday declined leave from prison to attend his grandmother's funeral.

Zane Lewis, 22, is in custody following an incident on April 8 where police allege he held the 1-year-old infant in front of him to block police pepper spray before locking himself, his partner and the child inside the Waipawa property where police had approached him.

Police claim he then escaped out of a window.

He was eventually tasered and caught by officers as he tried to flee the property.

Lewis is awaiting a defended hearing date on charges of escaping lawful custody and aggravated assault.

In April, the court was told Lewis would defend the allegation he used the child as a human shield.

In Hastings District Court yesterday, police prosecutor Andy Horne opposed the application for funeral leave and said Lewis would be at a high risk of absconding should it be granted.

Lewis' lawyer, Eric Forster, said family members had indicated they would take responsibility for his client during the ceremony and that he could be returned to prison by 6pm.

However, Judge Phil Gittos deemed the risk too high and declined the application.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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