Anaru Rangihuna used gas torch used as weapon before going on the run - police

Anaru Rangihuna faces new charges and is changing lawyers.
NZ POLICE

Anaru Rangihuna faces new charges and is changing lawyers.

Two charges of using a gas torch to assault a woman have been laid against a 44-year-old man who was allegedly on the run from police for seven months.

The assault with a weapon charges were among seven charges laid against Anaru Turei Tamati Rangihuna on Monday for the first time at the Christchurch District Court when he made a remand appearance by video link.

The charges allege that twice on October 18, at Christchurch, he assaulted a woman using a portable butane gas torch as a weapon.

He faces new charges of assault on a woman, indecent assault, kidnapping the woman, assaulting her with intent to injure and unlawful possession of a Glock pistol.

He indicated to Judge Tom Gilbert he intended to "strongly deny" all charges.

Police sought Rangihuna, described as a panelbeater of no fixed abode, after the incident in October, when he was originally charged with kidnapping, intentionally injuring the woman and threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm.

Police said he then went on the run. They warned the public not to approach him because he was likely armed with a handgun. An arrest warrant was issued for him at that time "in lieu of summons", meaning that he could not be found.

He was found in rural Canterbury in May, after seven months on the run. He has been remanded in custody without plea since then.

Rangihuna said on Monday he was changing lawyers. Judge Gilbert remanded him in custody without plea to July 3 for a him to approach a new lawyer, or for a new legal aid lawyer to be assigned.
 

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