Axe attack on car after four dozen beers

Karl Littlejohn was banned from driving for two and a-half years for a police chase which reached speeds of 160kmh. Photo: Rob Kidd.
Karl Littlejohn was banned from driving for two and a-half years for a police chase which reached speeds of 160kmh. Photo: Rob Kidd.
Four dozen beers plus an axe turned out to be a bad combination for a South Otago man, a court has heard.

Karl Edgar Littlejohn (38) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possessing a weapon and two counts of intentional damage following the June 2 incident.

He had borrowed a Subaru vehicle from a friend six months earlier and had not returned it.

The man turned up with a friend to reclaim it just before Littlejohn returned to his Balclutha home drunk and disgruntled.

''The defendant became enraged at the group,'' a police summary said.

After throwing a punch, Littlejohn went into the house and came out with an axe.

He smashed all the windows of the first victim's car before turning his attention to a Nissan belonging to another.

''He began yelling at the group and chasing them down the street while in possession of the axe,'' police said.

When police arrested Littlejohn, he told them he had consumed two 24 packs of beer.

The rage-fuelled incident came while the defendant was on bail.

Littlejohn made headlines in mid-2017 when he was jailed for 23 months for ram-raiding two service stations in the same night and making off with $6000 of cigarettes.

He took police on a brief chase before being arrested on that occasion and in April this year, he was back at it.

Officers saw him behind the wheel heading from Balclutha to Kaitangata and began to follow.

After witnessing him overtaking a truck on yellow lines at excessive speed, they gave chase.

Despite them activating lights and sirens, Littlejohn continued to put his foot down.

As police struggled to close the gap, they clocked the defendant's speed at 160kmh.

When he finally stopped on the outskirts of Kaitangata, he said he was unaware he was being pursued.

He could give no explanation for his excessive speed.

Judge Thomas Ingram acknowledged Littlejohn had spent more than two months behind bars after bail was revoked.

Keeping him there was unlikely to help, he said.

Judge Ingram told the defendant that because of the driving convictions - an aggravated charge of failing to stop and dangerous driving - he had to impose a minimum disqualification of two and a-half years.

Littlejohn asked if he was still permitted to ride Lime scooters.

''You're allowed on those but the way you drive I'd be careful,'' the judge said.

Littlejohn was sentenced to 12 months' supervision, 150 hours' community work and ordered to pay $1500 for the damage he caused with the axe.



Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

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

Become a Supporter