A Northlander accused of fleeing from police and firing shots in the air during the pursuit told a jury it wasn’t him because he was out fishing with a cousin at the time.
Heta Brass, also known as Heta Lloyd, chose to give evidence in the High Court at Whangārei yesterday where he and his partner Stacey Leah Walker-Haturini are on trial on a raft of charges.
Lloyd, 29, is facing two charges of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, and single charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, driving while disqualified, driving dangerously and failing to stop.
Walker-Haturini is charged with unlawful possession of explosives, unlawful possession of an offensive a weapon, possession of a Class C controlled drug, and possession of a utensil for methamphetamine.
The charges stem from a police pursuit from Awanui which continued through Te Hiku Forest and on to Ninety Mile Beach just after 9pm on July 25, 2018.
At the end of the Crown case yesterday,his lawyer Sumudu Thode indicated to Justice Grant Powell that Lloyd wished to give evidence in person and call his cousin as a defence witness.
Giving evidence, Lloyd said he and his partner went to his cousin’s house in Herekino from where they went fishing at Owhata Harbour after lunch on July 25, 2018.
He said Walker-Haturini stayed in the harbour for a short time before she drove away while both cousins fished till early evening.
They returned to his cousin’s house after fishing and had a feed and a few more beers, he said.
Lloyd said he slept over and the next morning, his partner arrived yelling and screaming that her vehicle had been stolen the previous afternoon.
He said her cousin heard over the scanner that police were involved in a high-speed chase in Awanui.
Lloyd said he and Walker-Haturini drove up just north of the Hukatere offramp in a bid to find her stolen vehicle but couldn’t locate it.
Under cross examination by Crown prosecutor Trelise Needham, Lloyd said he would have put his hand up if he was driving the vehicle pursued by police rather than putting his family in grief.
Earlier in the trial, Constable Andrew Duff and Detective Christian Linder who were the officers in the patrol car that gave chase, said they didn’t recognise the driver of the vehicle being pursued.
Closing address by the lawyers is expected todaybefore Justice Powell sums up the case.
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