Petone: Local man acted like “Bonnie & Clyde” episode

Wellington, Sept 9 NZPA – A Lower Hutt man accused of stealing a car and petrol, then leading police on a high-speed chase had his sentencing delayed when he appeared in Taupo District Court today.

Regan Shannon McKinley, 20, of Petone, pleaded guilty to 14 charges when he appeared before Judge James Rota in Taupo District Court last month.

He was then remanded for sentencing this week, but today that was put back to September 23.

McKinley stole a Subaru Impreza and then $105 worth of petrol from BP Geyser in Rotorua on August 10.

He later refused to get out of the vehicle after being stopped by police on State Highway 5, north of Taupo. He sped off, striking Constable Janine O’Connor on the knee and was chased for 40km at speeds up to 170kmh.

After road spikes deflated three tyres on the car, he drove another 9km before being stopped and arrested.

Ms O’Connor suffered minor bruising and a sore left knee but did not require medical help.

McKinley was found to have a breath alcohol reading of 476mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

He also faces numerous charges from courts in Taupo, Tauranga and Lower Hutt.

Judge Chris McGuire today indicated McKinley could expect to receive 12 months home detention, a further disqualification from driving and reparation.

He described McKinley’s actions as a “Bonnie and Clyde episode which was serious, reckless, dangerous and seriously criminal”.

He was remanded in custody.


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