Guilty pleas over Glocks and police vehicle theft

The subject of an extensive police manhunt, who allegedly stole a police car and two pistols, was found by officers hiding under a pile of clothing in a wardrobe.

Hori Irimana Tenaku Winiata Kemp Gemmell (24) pleaded guilty yesterday to eight of nine charges he faces.

He appeared by audiovisual link at Invercargill District Court where counsel Sonia Vidal entered her client's guilty plea to two counts of unlawfully being in possession of a pistol, unlawfully possessing ammunition in public, two charges of theft from a car, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and reckless driving.

He also admitted a charge of breach of release condition.

Ms Vidal entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to the charge of aggravated assault.

All the charges relate to an incident in Gore on August 14, between 11.41pm and 11.54pm.

Gemmell is alleged to have rammed a patrol car after police tried to pull him over.

Police said he then ran off, pursued by officers, who were also on foot.

Gemmell eventually returned to the police car, entered it and locked its doors.

The defendant then drove off and was chased by another patrol car before stopping.

He unlocked the firearms safe inside the patrol car, removed two loaded Glock 17 pistols and ran off.

He was found after an extensive police search on August 16 in the Te Tipua area.

One of the pistols, a damaged holster and some ammunition was also recovered.

The other gun and more ammunition was recovered later.

When arrested, Gemmell said he sold the other Glock to a female associate for $1500.

In explanation for taking the police patrol car, he said he did not appreciate the way police spoke to him when he was stopped so he decided to run off.

Gemmell said when he ran back to his car to leave the scene, he realised it needed to be jumped-started due to a faulty starter motor so he took the police car instead.

He hid for the night and with the assistance of associates he made his way to Mataura and then to an associate's farm address where he stayed until he was located by police.

Gemmell was remanded in custody and will reappear in court on November 4.

Judge Russell Walker remanded Gemmell in custody until his sentencing on January 21 next year.

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