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Fugitive Stewart Remanded In Custody

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 27 NZPA - His shock of hair and big bushy beard indicating his months on the run, William Alexander Stewart faced a two-week remand in custody at his brief appearance in the Christchurch District Court today.

The 47-year-old appeared on an arrest warrant issued last October and six charges previously laid when he came before Judge Brian Callaghan, Christchurch Court News website reported.

He entered no plea and was remanded in custody to June 10, at a court appearance only hours after he was finally caught by police at a farm near Mayfield, 35km northwest of Ashburton.

He had been on the run since early February.

Duty solicitor Jared Bell said Stewart consented to the custody remand, which was for more than the minimum period that can be ordered.

Stewart had a big beard as well as his trademark long hair, which has appeared in the photographs police issued while he was on the run in rural Canterbury.

Stewart evaded police cordons, and allegedly took cars, raided premises, and camped out at a secret location.

Mr Bell said the two-week remand would allow Stewart to arrange a lawyer, and the police were also expected to lay further charges from his months as a fugitive.

The charges he faced today had already been laid and there were no fresh charges.

The charges were dangerous driving, breach of prison release conditions, breach of parole, breach of bail, possession of cannabis, and illegal possession of utensils.


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