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Wellington Court Security To Be Boosted After Stabbing - Govt

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Georgina te Heuheu
Georgina te Heuheu

Wellington, June 30 NZPA - Courtroom security in Wellington will be boosted after a man stabbed himself in the neck in Wellington District Court as he was being sentenced today , the courts minister says.

A 29-year-old man man stabbed himself in the neck with a knife after being sentenced on child pornography charges.

Metal detectors standing beside one of the doors into the court were not being used.

Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu said tonight the stabbing was a tragedy for the man, his family, court staff and members of the public who witnessed it.

She gave an assurance Wellington District Court would be one of the first to benefit from additional security measures which were announced in the May budget.

"Courts, by their nature, are emotionally tense environments where parties in dispute are brought together," she said.

"Scanning and searching people entering courts is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of security incidents."

The man was seen removing his shoe and putting it back on while standing in the dock, and as he was led from the courtroom, he bent down as if to tie his shoelace, Wellington police Sergeant Wade Jennings said.

After being told he could adjust the shoe outside the courtroom, the man stood up and stabbed himself in the neck with a knife he had removed from his shoe.

He was disarmed by court security staff who administered first aid until an ambulance arrived.

The man was taken to Wellington Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Initially assessed as being in critical condition, the man's physical condition was now stable.

He was likely to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

NZPA understood the man was being sentenced for 32 charges of possessing objectionable material.

Film footage on TV3's website showed an overweight, shirtless man being led by police and paramedics from the court house to an ambulance, covered in blood and clutching his neck.

Wellington District Court manager Peter Bachelor confirmed a man had been taken to hospital with a self-inflicted wound he had given himself while in the courtroom.

The man had name suppression, Mr Bachelor said.


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