Yacht man accused of attack

Last updated 13:35 01/11/2012
John Lonie
Derek Flynn/The Marlborough Express
Picton Police and AOS Squad members arrive in Picton with a man in custody after an incident on board a yacht in the Marlborough Sounds yesterday.

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A 53-year-old Blenheim man has appeared in court facing charges of wounding and threatening to kill after an incident in the Marlborough Sounds. 

Jonathan Paul Lonie, who is listed as unemployed with an address in Witherlea, appeared in the Blenheim District Court today.

No judge was available for the hearing so he appeared before two JPs and was remanded by consent in custody and will reappear on Monday.

The charge sheets presented in court today say the charges relate to offending on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Lonie was arrested last night after a two-hour manhunt in the Marlborough Sounds involving maritime police from Wellington and the armed offenders squad. 

The hunt began after a Nelson man told police he had been assaulted, stabbed and thrown overboard from a yacht in the Queen Charlotte Sound.  

Sergeant Kris Payne said the man told them he had been visiting Picton and met a man who invited him on to his yacht. 

At some stage the Nelson man had been thrown overboard and had swum to the nearest shore, where he spent the night in some bushes.  He had walked to Lochmara Lodge, in Lochmara Bay, yesterday morning. 

The bay is on the opposite side of Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton harbour.  

The Nelson man told police he had been assaulted and attacked with a knife and a wood saw.  He had a deep cut to his hand and other cuts on his body and face, Mr Payne said. 

Police went to Lochmara Lodge yesterday afternoon and brought the injured man back to Picton. As they were leaving the bay, the man spotted the yacht he had been on tied up at a jetty. 

A police maritime unit called in from Wellington arrived in Queen Charlotte Sound on board the Lady Elizabeth IV late yesterday afternoon and met up with the armed offenders squad, Mr Payne said. 

A customer at a cafe on the waterfront said about five officers dressed in armed offender clothing, including a dog handler, boarded the police launch in the Picton marina about 5.30pm. 

The 18.5-metre police catamaran left the harbour and was seen going to Double Cove, just north of Lochmara Bay.

The catamaran returned to Picton marina just before 7pm and several more police officers, some carrying large bags and guns, boarded before the boat headed back out the sound. 

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- The Marlborough Express

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