A man who rammed a police car then chased an officer while wielding a tomahawk has evaded an attempted murder conviction.

Ruairi Kern Taylor, 25, pleaded guilty to a range of charges shortly after the incident on September 4 last year.

He was remanded for sentencing but police then laid a charge of attempted murder and the matter was elevated to the High Court.

Almost a year later, Taylor yesterday appeared in the High Court at Dunedin where he admitted counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm, intentional damage and assault with a weapon.

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The attempted murder charge was withdrawn by Crown prosecutor Robin Bates.

The chilling details of the crimes can now be reported.

Court documents revealed Taylor quit his work at a Tapanui business then travelled to a shop in Gore where he bought a tomahawk.

The defendant retrieved a sheathed knife from his home and strapped it to his leg before heading north in his Subaru.

First he pursued an unmarked police car but continued driving when it turned into the Gore police station.

Later, Taylor chanced upon Constable Steven Treloar who was sitting in his patrol vehicle, with lights activated, having pulled over a motorist.

The defendant blasted "religious music" on his stereo and slammed his car into the back of the stationary police car.

Treloar's head smashed into his windscreen and the force shunted his vehicle into the one he had stopped.

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While Taylor smashed the officer's windows with the axe, the victim used the police radio to call for backup.

He shuffled over the car's central console and escaped through the passenger door as the defendant gave chase with the tomahawk raised above his head.

Taylor yelled "Allahu Akbar" (meaning "God is great") while running but gave up the pursuit after 40m.

He returned to the now vacant police car, smashing both headlights and hacking holes in its side panels with the weapon, causing more than $30,000 worth of damage.

Other units which rushed to the scene found Taylor wearing a police hat and jacket from Treloar's car while "yelling religious material from a Quran he had in his possession".

He later told police he was not a practising Muslim and had wanted to be shot by police.

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It can also now be revealed that the defendant's violent behaviour continued behind bars.

Within weeks of being remanded in custody, Taylor attacked a convicted sex offender.

The pair had been attending court on the same day and were transported back to the Otago Corrections Facility where they were placed in a holding cell.

Taylor punched the man about 20 times, the court heard, leaving him with bruises, blurred vision and sore ribs.

He later explained he had carried out the assault because others had encouraged him and he wanted to be accepted.

Taylor got six months' imprisonment in March, a sentence he has now completed.

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He will be sentenced on the other charges in December.