The man who escaped from a Whanganui court cell and beat up a police officer in the process has pleaded guilty to the offending.

Letraz Poulson was being held in a cell at Whanganui District Court in March and managed to unscrew a hinge in the cell door.

Poulson then came across a constable facing away from him and punched the officer several times about the head and face, stopping him from calling for help on his radio.

Poulson took a set of keys and a security card and fled the building but was found a short time later hiding underneath a jetty by the river.

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He appeared in court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody and aggravated injury.

Judge David Cameron referred the matter to restorative justice and remanded Poulson to September 26 for sentencing.