Fugitive's fling ends in prison

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014

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Months of being on the run has come to an end for one South Taranaki offender.

In the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, Matthew Joao Edwards, 22, was jailed for 5 years, bringing to an end a crime spree that had him pegged as one of Taranaki's most wanted.

On May 20, Edwards was arrested in Otorohanga on an outstanding warrant after he failed to appear in court. Before his arrest, he evaded police for several months and was linked to a number of rural burglaries committed in and around South Taranaki.

During yesterday's appearance, Edwards pleaded guilty to a raft of charges.

The offending, some of which dates back to November last year, includes a serious assault, a number of rural burglaries where cars, motorbikes, tools and farming equipment were taken.

Edwards was also caught driving while disqualified twice.

However, the lead charge of wounding with intent involved a serious assault which Edwards carried out in November with two associates at a Stratford address. One of the associates, Thomas Holland, is due to be sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court on June 11, while the other associate's identity remains unknown.

Edwards has yet to plead to two charges of burglary and is due to re-appear in the New Plymouth District Court on June 19.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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