Wilson makes brief court appearance

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A Glenorchy stonemason and kidnapping suspect made a brief appearance in an Invercargill court today.

Pita William Hapourona Wilson, 38, faces four charges: unlawfully detaining Joseph Armstrong at Queenstown between November 25 and 30; wounding Mr Armstrong with intent to cause grevious bodily harm on November 28 at Queenstown; unlawfully detaining Casey Johnston and Andrew Lee in Queenstown on November 27-29; and a representative charge of supplying the class A drug methamphetamine between November and December 3. 

Duty solicitor John Fraser said Wilson was not pleading to any of the charges today or applying for bail.

Invercargill District Court Judge Gary MacAskill remanded Wilson in custody to appear again in the Queenstown District Court on January 12. 

Wilson’s co-accused, Joshua Veint, 23, and Mark Junior Taylor, 17, have also appeared in court in recent days. Veint has been remanded in custody and Taylor is on bail.

Four other people, three women and a man, are also facing charges including drug possession and helping Wilson to avoid arrest.

Police conducted a five-day manhunt for Wilson and Veint, 23, beginning with Armed Offender Squad raids on Frankton Rd last Friday night.

Wilson was eventually located on the Frankton track on 9.20pm on Wednesday.

Ashleigh Jane McMillan, 22, of Frankton, is charged with giving comfort to Pita Wilson in order to enable him to avoid arrest. She was remanded on bail without plea until Monday.

Amanda Jane Nicolls, 43, also of Frankton, is charged with assisting Pita Wilson to avoid arrest. She was remanded on bail without plea until January 12.

Both charges carry a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

Lilly Dianne Boden, 21 also appeared before the Queenstown registrar on Monday on one charge of possession of methamphetamine. She was remanded on bail without plea until next Monday.

Boden was allegedly found with Veint in a remote hut near Glenorchy last Wednesday. 

Veint, of Glenorchy, farmhand, is jointly charged with Wilson on the wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

And both Veint and Wilson are jointly charged with Mark Junior Taylor (17) with unlawfully detaining Casey Johnston and Andrew Lee between November 25 and 27 at Queenstown.

That also carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Veint also faces one charge of possession of methamphetamine. He was remanded in custody on Friday to appear in Invercargill District Court on Friday.

Otago Daily Times