31 Oct 2023

Man denies charges related to kidnapping of children, threatening to harm one in Havelock North

1:04 pm on 31 October 2023
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Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

A man accused of kidnapping two children in Havelock North and threatening to harm one of them has pleaded not guilty at Hastings District Court.

The 38-year-old, who has interim name suppression, appeared before Judge Bridget Mackintosh on Tuesday.

His lawyer Matthew Dixon applied for his name to be suppressed permanently, and that matter will be considered in court on 21 November.

The man elected a jury trial, and will be remanded in custody until then.

Police said the two children were walking in the Nimon Street area at about 6.45pm on 5 October when they were approached by the man and "coerced" into going with him.

"The man made threats to the children and forced them to stay with him," Eastern District crime manager Martin James said.

"The children managed to escape from the man and ran to safety at a nearby house, where the homeowner alerted police."

While he attempted to flee, officers were quickly on the scene and with the help of local residents, they soon arrested him.

Investigators also wanted to find out where the man acquired a mauve-coloured night dress.