A man who drove on the wrong side of the road for four kilometres, rammed police and then hid in Lake Rotorua, will spend two years behind bars.
Matiu Rawiri Pomare crossed his arms, showing a swastika and three Ms for the Mighty Mongrel Mob, as he was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court today.
Judge Tony Snell ordered him to spend 22 months in prison.
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The police summary of facts at 12.10am on February 9 this year, Pomare was chased by police as he drove a grey Nissan Lucino car through the Rotorua CBD.
The summary said Pomare crossed the centre line towards oncoming traffic before swerving back into his lane.
"He drove along Fenton St and evaded a police tyre deflation device by again
driving on the wrong side of the road. The defendant also ran a red light in his effort to avoid arrest.
"The defendant continued driving on Fenton St on the wrong side of the road,
reaching speeds of 100km/h in the 50km/h area."
Police estimated Pomare then continued driving on the wrong side of the road for about 2km, along Sumner St, Ranolf St, High St and Davidson St.
He then attempted a U-turn "before hitting the kerb then accelerating back the way he came".
Police tried to set up cordons to stop Pomare.
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"The defendant saw the cordon and accelerated towards police and drove into the rear of the patrol unit driven by Constable FIilipo. The defendant accelerated away, attempting to evade other police vehicles.
"The defendant attempted another U-turn but lost control of his car and came to a stop. Constable Hill attempted to end the pursuit by blocking the defendant using his vehicle. The defendant started his car and accelerated towards Constable Hill's vehicle, hitting it in the front left side."
Pomare then drove back towards Fenton St and on to Sala St but police were forced to abandon the pursuit because Pomare made it "extremely dangerous".
"The defendant continued driving at excessive speed. At one point the bonnet of his car lifted up, blocking his view. He did not slow down. The defendant continued at speed along Te Ngae Rd."
He then headed back towards the city centre and drove on the wrong side of the road for another 2km.
"The defendant aimed at oncoming traffic and oncoming vehicles were forced to take emergency evasive action by mounting the centre island to avoid being hit.
One of the defendant's car tyres disintegrated. This forced the car to slow down. The defendant continued on the wrong side of the road towards the CBD. Oncoming vehicles had to pull over hard to the left to avoid a collision."
He continued through Government Gardens before losing control and crashing the car into the bush.
He fled on foot towards Sulphur Point.
"A police dog handler tracked the defendant and located him hiding, half-submerged, in Lake Rotorua."
He later pleaded guilty in the Rotorua District Court to endangering transport, which has a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and assault with a weapon, which has a maximum penalty of five years.
His sentence was raised because of previous convictions but reduced because Pomare pleaded guilty and had shown remorse.
Judge Snell said one of "the most telling" lines in a remorse letter written by Pomare, was "bad choices and decisions have been a regular feature in my life to this point".
"I thought that showed some level of insight because these are choices that you make and that is why you are in the predicament that you are now," Snell said.
"I think that you've done some things while you have been in custody already that show that you are wanting to try and change your life around a little. I am prepared to try and give you some encouragement."
Pomare was sentenced to 22 months' imprisonment for endangering transport and 12 months for assault with a weapon, which will be served concurrently.
Pomare will have to be psychologically assessed and complete any treatment recommended before he is released.