Fugitive who hired chopper to hand himself in appears in court

A wanted man who paid for a helicopter to fly him out of the bush so he could hand himself in has been remanded in custody on two sets of charges.

James Matthew Bryant (32), of Dunedin, appeared at the Dunedin Central Police Station two weeks ago after being on the run for five weeks.

He paid for a helicopter to fly in and retrieve him.

"I didn't go put in taxpayer money into the business,'' he said.

He was accompanied at the police station by high-profile former jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor.

Mr Taylor said he knew Bryant prior to him going on the run, as he had helped Mr Taylor build his website.

He later contacted him and said he wanted to hand himself in because he was worried that police had labelled him as dangerous.

Bryant faces charges of wounding with reckless disregard and possession of a knife, from an incident at Dunedin on April 7 this year; and three charges of harmful digital communication, from 2018 and 2019.

A further charge is of failing to appear in court at Dunedin on April 20 this year.

An order for interim name suppression, granted last week by justice of the peace, lapsed this morning.

Counsel Anne Stevens QC did not ask for the order to continue. There were no grounds, she said.

Bryant was remanded in custody by consent, and without plea, to July 1. 




Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter