The ex-convict who was allegedly seen impersonating a medical student on Wellington Hospital grounds has been remanded in custody.

Pita Phillip Edwards, 26, appeared in the Wellington District Court today facing 20 charges including being on the hospital grounds without an excuse and entering buildings including the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the Otago School of Medicine Wellington with intent to commit a crime.

He was also charged with illegal use of taxi chits, credit cards and a bank cheque.

Edwards will reappear next week.


Another defendant, Stacy Howard, was accused of being with Edwards when he entered the DIA. Howard was also remanded in custody and will reappear next month.

All alleged crimes were committed between November 16 and November 22.

Police arrested Edwards yesterday morning after monitoring his bank accounts, cell phones and known addresses. They found him shortly after he had allegedly cashed a stolen cheque, Detective Sergeant Glenn Williams said.

The 26-year-old had been linked by CCTV footage, and by leaving his wallet behind at one scene, to thefts from Wellington Hospital and Victoria University.

Police suspected he had also been involved in burglaries from two other commercial buildings and had dressed in a way so as to not draw attention to himself, Mr Williams said.