The man who this week abandoned an 11-month-old boy alone on the side of a Southland highway after finding him in the car he had just stolen has admitted his offending.
Charanjit Singh, 31, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to six charges when he appeared in the Invercargill District Court today.
Singh, who has been in custody since his arrest on Monday, admitted unlawfully taking a Mazda vehicle from outside a shop in Balfour, theft of the complainant's $750 iPhone, failing to stop for police, abandoning a child, driving when forbidden and reckless driving.
Judge Michael Turner convicted and further remanded Singh in custody for sentencing on December 13.
From the dock, Singh also offered to pay for the damage he caused to the woman's $58,000 Mazda CX9, which he drove across paddocks and crashed down a small bank near Balfour while trying to evade police.
When interviewed by police he said he had stolen the car intending to drive to Dunedin and did not know the child was in the car when he stole it.
He estimated he had reached speeds of 200km/h during the chase.
The abandoned baby was recovered unharmed by a passing motorist after Singh stopped the car and dumped the child on the side of the road before driving off.