A handcuffed man who stole a police patrol car in Murupara days after robbing a dairy has been jailed for four and a half years.
Maaki Te Huirau Emery, 18, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court today after previously pleading guilty to stealing a police car on October 17, dangerous driving and escaping police custody on the same date, aggravated robbery of a person of cigarettes and $300 on October 15, and breaching prison release conditions.
Judge Tony Snell said the lead offence was the aggravated robbery.
He said Emery and an associate went to a Murupara dairy and Emery punched the female worker when she approached them.
The associate grabbed cigarettes from the cabinet while Emery ripped open the cash register and took $300. They then ran out of the shop.
Judge Snell said that two days later a police officer spotted Emery in Murupara and asked for his details. Despite Emery giving false details, the officer determined it was Emery and that he was wanted for the aggravated robbery.
A summary of facts said the police officer had been taking two juveniles home to their parents at the time.
The officer advised Emery he was under arrest, placed handcuffs on his hands in front of him and sat him in the passenger seat of his marked police patrol car.
The summary states that when the officer arrived to drop the young people off, he got out and spoke to their caregiver.
Emery locked the officer out of the car and ignored requests to open the doors.
He then "rapidly reversed out of the driveway" and accelerated away, ignoring the officer's commands to stop, the summary stated.
The officer tried to deflate the front left tyre by firing two shots at it.
Judge Snell said Emery drove at speed, on the wrong side of the road, forced at least two children to get out of the way to avoid being hit, failed to give way and drove through a pedestrian crossing and over speed humps at speed.
He eventually lost control of the car on a forestry road outside Murupara and ran off from the scene.
He was arrested three weeks later.
Judge Snell said that at the time of the offending Emery was on prison release conditions, after having been jailed for aggravated robbery in October 2016 and robbery by assault in November 2016. In total Emery had six previous convictions.
Judge Snell increased Emery's sentence by 12 months for stealing the police car.
In total he would serve four years and six months and was disqualified from driving for six months.
The Rotorua Daily Post asked Rotorua police whether any action was taken regarding the officer who fired shots at the stolen police vehicle.
Rotorua police area commander Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi said the internal investigation was still under way and there were no updates at this stage.