Paralysed man caught by police

By Kristin Edge

A Northland man who was paralysed while climbing a fence under police arrest and spent months lying in a hospital bed has been stopped illegally driving a car.

Shane Legg was seriously injured on April 19, 2012, after he led police on a high-speed chase, then fled through steep hill country before he was tracked by a police dog and handler.

Legg fell as he climbed a fence while handcuffed, leaving him with a broken neck.

At the time, he was disqualified from driving for an indefinite period.

Earlier this month, the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA) released a report which concluded the police actions were reasonable and complied with the law in most respects, but one officer failed to fulfil his duty of care to Legg.

Surgeons initially said Legg would never walk again. But his father, Ray Legg, confirmed his son could shuffle on his feet for about 10 metres before his legs gave way.

He was classified as an incomplete tetraplegic, with limited movement of the hands, fingers and arms.

In the latest incident, Shane Legg, 29, and now living in Hikurangi, was pulled over by police for a random traffic check on Tauroa St in Raumanga, about 9.50pm on August 8.

It is understood Legg initially gave false details but was recognised by an officer. A further check revealed he was a disqualified driver.

Police impounded the V8 Holden Commodore for 28 days and have summonsed Legg to appear in Whangarei District Court on a charge of driving while disqualified next month.

Officers at the scene offered Legg a ride home but he refused and a friend collected him.

Ray Legg said his son's actions were born out of frustration and he was disappointed Shane had decided to drive his sister's car.

"Over the last few weeks, it's been pretty tough for the family. Shane feels he was totally let down with the investigation and has had to live all that trauma again.

"He's feeling totally frustrated ... we have had some serious arguments."

Ray Legg said he had not been able to discuss the reasons with his son as to why he was driving.

"He's gained back limited movement and the car was an automatic."

He previously said his son was no angel and deserved a kick in the backside for speeding, but did not deserve to have his neck broken while in police custody.

The IPCA report said after the first incident police had charged Legg with driving while disqualified, operating a motor vehicle recklessly and failing to stop, but withdrew the charges given Legg's condition.

It also revealed Legg had previously fled from police in March 2010 on a motorbike and was chased on foot by a police dog and handler.

- Northern Advocate

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