Flight to justice: fugitive hands himself in

After being on the run for five weeks, a wanted man paid for a helicopter to fly him out of the bush so he could hand himself in.

The bizarre scene unfolded late yesterday afternoon when a masked James Matthew Bryant (32) appeared at the Dunedin Central Police Station in the company of notorious former jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor.

Mr Taylor is on parole in Dunedin.

Bryant was wanted on charges of wounding with reckless disregard, possession of a knife, three counts of harmful digital communications and failing to appear in court.

Speaking on his way into the police station, Bryant said he had been holed up "in the middle of nowhere" near Waianakarua.

His time in hiding had been "great" and he had done "a lot of yoga", he said.

Wanted man James Bryant (centre) is arrested by a Dunedin police officer (left) after handing...
Wanted man James Bryant (centre) is arrested by a Dunedin police officer (left) after handing himself in yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
He eventually decided to hand himself in, and paid for a helicopter to fly in and retrieve him yesterday.

"I didn’t go and put in taxpayer money into the business."

Mr Taylor said he knew Bryant before he went on the run, as Bryant had helped him build his website.

Bryant later contacted him saying he wanted to hand himself in because he was worried police had labelled him as dangerous, Mr Taylor said.

"I guess he’s seen a few movies where they jump out with guns and that sort of stuff."

After Bryant had waited in the station foyer for a few minutes, a police officer came downstairs and arrested him without incident.

daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz

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