Martinborough gun accused denied bail

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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Robert James Atkinson, 31, of Martinborough,was denied bail in Masterton District Court on two firearms charges. PHOTO/FILE
Robert James Atkinson, 31, of Martinborough,was denied bail in Masterton District Court on two firearms charges. PHOTO/FILE

A man alleged to have pointed a gun at people in Martinborough, sparking a day-long police manhunt, has been declined bail.

Robert James Atkinson, 31, of Martinborough, appeared for a third bail hearing in Masterton District Court yesterday.

Atkinson was arrested after the armed offenders squad, dog handlers and a helicopter were called out to the White Rock Rd area on Monday.

He first appeared in court on Tuesday, when he entered not guilty pleas to charges of unlawfully presenting a rifle and unlawfully possessing a rifle.

On Wednesday Judge Barbara Morris postponed Atkinson's bail application so that further information could be provided to the court.

In court yesterday she thanked Atkinson's family gathered in the public gallery.

"I compliment the family of Mr Atkinson for their support and patience with this decision, which has been a difficult decision to make."

Judge Morris said she would reconsider bail after Atkinson had been assessed.

She asked Atkinson's lawyer, Ian Hard, to file an application for electronically monitored bail.

Atkinson has been remanded in custody until his next appearance on March 14.

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