5 Feb 2009

Motorway accused apologises to shot teen's family

7:52 pm on 5 February 2009

The man alleged to have taken part in a high-speed chase with police which lead to an innocent bystander being shot on an Auckland motorway has written to the dead man's family.

Stephen McDonald, 50, made a brief appearance in Auckland District Court on Thursday where he was remanded to appear later this month.

He faces 29 charges in relation to the indicent in January, in which police mistakenly shot courier driver Halatau Naitoko, 17. More charges are expected to be laid.

Outside court, Mr McDonald's lawyer Roger Chambers said his client had written to Halatau Naitoko's family expressing his regret.

Mr Chambers said he had not seen the letter and does not know whether the family received it.

He said Mr McDonald has no recollection of the events on the day of the shooting.

Baby named in honour of victim

The mother of Halatau Naitoko has given birth to a boy.

Ivoni Fuimaono gave birth shortly after 5pm on Thursday after a long labour and is tired, but well.

Family spokesperson Peter Sykes says the baby weighs 3.6kg and his parents are very proud.

He has been named Halatau, in memory of his elder brother.