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Shoelace And Belt Unlocked Prison Van, Court Told

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 2 NZPA - A shoelace and a belt were used to override the locking system on a moving police van, allowing two prisoners to escape, a court has been told.

One of the two men who escaped appeared in Levin District Court yesterday charged with escaping police custody and two charges of burglary, the Manawatu Standard reported.

Debden Osbourne Wamoana, 26, was one of six men travelling from Manawatu Prison to Levin District Court on October 29 last year, police prosecutor Sergeant Simon Chamberlain said.

"It's alleged an accomplice used a belt and a shoelace to override the locking system on the internal cage and they were able to open the doors."

As the van slowed down in Shannon, Wamoana and his associate jumped out.

While on the run Wamoana allegedly burgled two Shannon homes.

Police then tracked him to an area of bush where they found a cellphone box and earpiece.

He was arrested on November 13 as he tried to escape from a Levin address.

Defence lawyer Keith Becker said Wamoana had been pushed out of the van and there was not enough evidence to commit him to trial on the two burglary charges.

Wamoana was committed to trial on all three charges by Justices of the Peace. He was remanded in custody to appear in Palmerston North District Court on May 15.

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