Man accused of kidnapping breaks down during brief hearing

Wellington Police are appealing for sightings of a white van.

Wellington Police are appealing for sightings of a white van.

One of the men accused of kidnapping a taxi driver told a supporter he was "sorry for everything" when he appeared behind bars in a small secure court room in Wellington on Friday.

Two men appeared separately charged with kidnapping a taxi driver in Wellington on the morning of Wednesday, August 9.

The two were both given interim name suppression when they appeared  in the little-used secure room in the basement of Wellington District Court where Judge Ian Mill remanded them in custody until their next appearances on September 1.

A 24-year-old from Wellington and an Auckland man, 23, were charged with robbing, wounding, and kidnapping the taxi driver on Wednesday. They were also charged with robbing two victims in Petone on Tuesday.

Kidnapped Wellington taxi driver assaulted and taken for two-hour drive in his boot
Two men arrested over alleged kidnapping of Wellington taxi driver

The small room where the men appeared is about the size of a bedroom, with about a third taken up with a barred cell for the defendant. It is reserved for cases where there are security concerns.

The Wellington man was also charged with having a knife and an imitation firearm, a high accuracy P.718 pistol.

He appeared distressed during the brief hearing, breaking down, swaying and holding the bars. He was heard saying "I'm sorry for everything" to a supporter in the room.

The second man was calm during his appearance.

Neither man entered pleas to the charges.

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Meanwhile, police are continuing to appeal for sightings of a white van which they believe is linked to the kidnapping and serious assault of the taxi driver.

The vehicle is a white Toyota Probox, registration FLY984. The vehicle travelled from Auckland to Wellington on Sunday, police said.

The alleged assault happened near Grenada, north of Wellington, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Anyone who thinks they've seen the vehicle can contact Detective Sergeant Richard Gibson at Wellington Police on 04 381 2000.

It is believed a third offender was involved and police are "following strong lines of enquiry to locate that person", a police statement said.

 - Stuff

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