Police attacker admits offending

An Invercargill man who temporarily blinded a police officer after attacking him in the court cells admitted the offending when he appeared in the Invercargill District Court today.

Jayde Takaratua Blair, 21, labourer, appeared before Judge David Saunders for wounding with intent to injure and aggravated assault on police on March 16.

He was remanded in custody to June 26 to the Dunedin District Court and given a warning under the three-strike law.

The police summary of facts, which was not read in court, says Blair was in the court cells when an officer advised him and another prisoner he was going to take them to the Invercargill Prison for lunch.

The officer unlocked his cell and removed both prisoners, leading both up the stairs to the court celli port and to the prison van, the summary says.

As the officer was unlocking the rear door to the prison van, Blair, who was standing behind him, punched him in the left side of his head, it says.

He was punched another two times to the left side of the head and cut by the lens of his glasses after being punched again, it says.

A heavy stream of blood flowed from the cut, blinding the vision in his left eye, the summary says.

Blair got hold of the officer's vest and forced him to a corner of the celli port where he punched him about six more times to the left side of the face and head, the summary says.

The officer managed to reach out and grab hold of Blair’s clothing, holding him at arms length but Blair punched him several times in the shoulder area, it says.

The second prisoner grabbed Blair in a bear hug and restrained him as the officer pointed his pepper spray at him and told him to get into the rear of the van, it says.

When spoken to later by police Blair said he had a brain explosion and was angry at being held in custody.

He showed little remorse for the unprovoked attack, the summary says.

The officer required five stitches to the left side of his head and received small cuts, bruising and swelling, it says.

His glasses were destroyed and his vest was covered in blood, requiring the internal Kevlar to be replaced, it says.

The Southland Times