Antonie Ronnie Di' />

A man accused of cutting off the hands of two women with a samurai sword told police he wanted "to go down in a blaze of glory".

Antonie Ronnie Dixon, 34, who is accused of attacking Renee Gunbie and Simonne Butler with the sword at Pipiroa, before shooting a young man dead with a sub-machinegun in January 2003, appeared in the High Court at Auckland yesterday on the first day of a six-week trial.

Crown Solicitor Simon Moore said Dixon had told police before handing himself in that "everyone will be taking notice of me now ... Aramoana will be a walk in the park compared to this ... I'll go down in a blaze of glory".

Dixon has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, including murder and attempted murder.

Throughout his alleged crime spree, he used the drug pure methamphetamine, commonly known as P.

In his opening address yesterday, Mr Moore took the jury through what he described as "an extraordinary trail of death and destruction" that began at Pipiroa on the Hauraki Plains and ended in the hills of East Tamaki.

It started at Dixon's home, a converted shed at Pipiroa, on the afternoon of January 21, 2003.

Ms Butler arrived and was brutally attacked with the sword, along with Ms Gunbie.

Both women lived with Dixon.

Ms Butler's hand, cut off in the attack, was later reattached by surgeons. But Ms Gunbie's hand, left on the shed table with one finger protruding, could not be reattached.

Mr Moore said Dixon was "ranting and raving" while the women screamed in pain with "cries of mercy" as he slashed them with the sword, which broke because of the force he used.

Dixon had accused Ms Butler of sleeping with a police officer and Ms Gunbie of being a drug dealer-turned-police informant.

He and another man (who has name suppression) called for an ambulance.

Mr Moore then explained how Dixon and the other man drove to Hamilton, where Dixon stole a car.

Dixon drove north at speed by himself, tailgating one motorist and stopping at various petrol stations and threatening people.

In one case he told a cleaner, "You are a good worker doing your job. If you want to live, go now".

Dixon arrived at Highland Park about midnight and shot James Te Aute, 25, in a carpark with a sub-machinegun, Mr Moore said.

The young man had been there with his friends and confronted Dixon about his strange behaviour.

Dixon reacted by firing the bullets into Mr Te Aute's back.

Before the shooting he had rung the police 111 centre and asked to speak to one of two detectives.

He later told a detective that he wanted to die in an armed offenders squad shoot-out and how the case was "another Aramoana".

In 1990, David Gray went on a shooting rampage at the tiny Otago settlement of Aramoana, killing 13 people before being fatally shot by police.

For several hours after the Highland Park shooting, Dixon drove dangerously round Manukau, firing bullets, including some at a police officer, and brandishing the gun, said Mr Moore.

As this was happening, police were in full force in the area and at one stage Dixon returned to the murder scene, where a police officer was interviewing a witness.

The drama ended early on the Wednesday morning when Dixon drove down a road in East Tamaki and started banging on the windows of homes, telling residents he was about to have "a shoot-out" with police.

He allegedly kidnapped a resident at one house, but the person spoke to him calmly and was able to walk away from Dixon, who was no longer aggressive and who broke down in tears.

Mr Moore said a police negotiator spoke to Dixon for some time and he finally came out of the house and lay on the lawn, where he was arrested.

The case continues today.

THE CHARGES

Attempted murder of Renee Joy Gunbie, with the alternative charge of intending to cause her grievous bodily harm.

Attempted murder of Simonne Rachel Butler, with the alternative charge of intending to cause her grievous bodily harm.

Murder of James Te Aute.

Attempted murder of a man who has name suppression, with the alternative charge of discharging a firearm with intent.

Using a firearm against Eugene Gage, a member of the police.

Attempted murder of David Templeton, with the alternative charge of discharging a firearm with intent.

Aggravated burglary.

Kidnapping of Ian Miller.