Dunedin man admits burglary, chase charges

Robert Paul Laxon pleaded guilty to failing to stop, reckless driving and two counts of illegal use of a motor vehicle, when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court. Photo / Supplied
Robert Paul Laxon pleaded guilty to failing to stop, reckless driving and two counts of illegal use of a motor vehicle, when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court. Photo / Supplied

A Dunedin man with a long criminal history has pleaded guilty to six charges relating to a burglary spree and high-speed police chase.

Robert Paul Laxon pleaded guilty to failing to stop, reckless driving and two counts of illegal use of a motor vehicle, when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court via audio-visual link before Judge Kevin Phillips this morning.

The charges relate to a high-speed pursuit in which Laxon rammed a Holden Astra into a police car in Dunedin's West Harbour earlier this month.

Laxon also pleaded guilty to two earlier charges of burglary, for which he failed to appear in court in May, sparking a police man hunt. Those charges date from April.

His partner, Kelly Emma Verburg (34), appeared in court on September 6 on one count of being an accessory to burglary after the fact for helping Laxon elude police.

Verburg took Laxon into her home at various times between May 17 and July 25 when he was on the run from police, providing him with meals, transporting him around town and warning him police were looking for him, according to a summary of facts.

''At about 11am on July 25, 2016, police located the defendant [Verburg] driving a Toyota Corolla on Argyle St, Mosgiel,'' the summary said.

''[Laxon] was in the front passenger seat. The attending patrol activated their vehicle's red and blue flashing lights in an attempt to stop the defendant's vehicle.

''The defendant slowed and veered left as if to pull over, but then pulled back into the centre of the lane, continuing approximately 150m further, turning on to Bush Rd before finally coming to a slow rolling stop.

''Before the defendant came to a complete stop, her partner exited the vehicle and ran into an adjacent property, avoiding arrest.''

Verburg has pleaded guilty to the charge.

Police yesterday withdrew one charge, related to the theft of a vehicle used in the high-speed police pursuit.

Judge Phillips remanded Laxon in custody for sentencing on November 10.

- Otago Daily Times

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