Author Duff swung policewoman by handcuffs, court told

By Abigail Caspari -

Highly acclaimed author Alan Duff swung a police officer about by her handcuffs as she tried to arrest him, a court has heard.

Duff, 57, denies the accusation made in the Taupo District Court yesterday.

Duff appeared at a defended hearing yesterday after pleading not guilty to failing to remain at a scene after being stopped, failing to stop for police and two charges of resisting police.

Duff, who now lives in Havelock North, was arrested last September after he was caught speeding on Broadlands Rd, 20km north of Taupo.

Taupo police Constable Patricia Foden told Judge Chris McGuire that on September 13 last year she saw Duff speeding on Broadlands Rd, about 20km north of Taupo.

She switched on the flashing lights and sirens and pulled Duff over.

She said Duff walked to her car and she told him to move off the road as he was causing danger to other motorists.

"He yelled at me 'you can't tell me what to do'," Ms Foden said.

"He yelled that he had done nothing wrong, that he didn't have to give me anything, that I was a bad example for the police."

She told Duff she had seen him driving at 112km/h and locked her radar at 110km/h.

She asked him for his driver's licence and his details including name and address which he initially refused to provide.

"He just kept repeating he had done nothing wrong and he didn't have to give me anything. He said he does a lot for the police."

Duff gave Ms Foden his driver's licence and yelled his address at her. He told her he wanted to take a photograph of the radar and went to her car, hitting the driver's door window twice with his hand.

Duff drove off after being told to wait.

Ms Foden followed him for 3.5km before he pulled over and he was told he was being arrested. She handcuffed one of his arms but he was "swinging" Ms Foden who was holding the chain of the handcuffs.

She told him she would spray him with pepper spray if he did not stop swinging her.

She said Duff yelled that he wanted to call his lawyer and Ms Foden told him he could once "backup" arrived.

Two other police officers arrived and Duff tried unsuccessfully to call his lawyer on his cellphone.

In his evidence Duff denied hitting the police car window or swinging Ms Foden.

"I shouted, I was stupid, but I did not do that (swing Ms Foden)."

He said he did not refuse to be handcuffed when Ms Foden told him he would be pepper sprayed.

Duff said he would have been driving at a speed of 105 or 106km/h as that was what his cruise control was set at.

Duff did not believe Ms Foden had any reason to follow him after he drove off as she had his driver's licence and details.

Duff had been visiting schools that day as part of a literacy programme he founded. He told the court he could not believe he had gone from being at schools which had banners saying "Welcome Mr Duff" to this "bizarre situation where I'm in handcuffs".

Duff will be cross- examined by police today before his lawyer Antony Shaw makes submissions.

- DAILY POST

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