Prolific absconder 'shouldn't have been granted bail'

Mathew Kidman removed his electronic bracelet and fled his Wellington address on Friday. Photo / Supplied via police
Mathew Kidman removed his electronic bracelet and fled his Wellington address on Friday. Photo / Supplied via police

Prolific absconder Mathew Kidman should not have been granted electronically monitored bail, Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

Kidman, 35, removed his electronic bracelet and fled his Wellington address on Friday.

Police are still on the hunt for the man, who they described as dangerous and not to be approached.

A notorious criminal, Kidman has a string of robbery and firearms offences stretching over the past decade.

It has now emerged the Department of Corrections did not recommend Mr Kidman receive electronically monitored bail, according to Ms Collins.

She had no reason to believe the police were happy with that decision, she told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint with John Campbell programme tonight.

"The fact is, it's not up to police or Corrections, it's up to a judge," she said.

"This person has previously absconded, and you'd have to say it was an unusual decision, but a judge has made that."

Kidman is one of a number of high profile cases in the last 12 months in which criminals have been able to remove their electronic monitoring bracelets and go on the run.

But Ms Collins said that represented "a tiny number".

She estimated between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent of all people monitored electronically removed the bracelets.

"So we're talking a tiny number. Having said that, all of these people have been deemed by a judge to be able to be monitored in this way, rather than to be incarcerated in remand waiting for their trial."

Kidman is described as a European of slim build and 187cm tall.

Due to his extensive criminal history, which involves firearms, police urged the public to dial 111 immediately if he is spotted.

He previously served time for aggravated robbery and has more than 70 past convictions, including firearms, drug and violence offences.

In 2005, Kidman was one of five prisoners awarded $8000 compensation in a court action for being held illegally under the "behaviour management regime" for difficult prisoners at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.

In 2008, Kidman was at the centre of a two-day, armed police manhunt throughout the Hutt Valley after he was seen with a firearm visiting a house in the Wellington suburb of Naenae.

Over 48 hours he criss-crossed the valley, including surrounding hills, even using a cart used to pick up golf balls to evade capture.

He was on bail for firearms charges at the time and after that incident faced fresh firearms charges.

In 2004, Kidman walked away from the Hawkes Bay Regional Prison joinery workshop while serving a six-year sentence for aggravated robbery.

He made another escape bid from Hutt Valley District Court in 2012 when he kicked through a glass barrier to escape an interview room.

Police are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of Kidman to call Detective Sergeant Mike Fischer of the Hutt Valley Tactical Crime Unit on 04 560 2600 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- NZME.

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