13 Dec 2010

Pair charged over machete attack on officer

9:08 pm on 13 December 2010

Police say more charges are likely to be laid against two teenagers accused of attacking a policeman with a machete.

Constable Bruce Mellor was attacked by the pair when he stopped a stolen car near Taihape about 6.30am on Saturday.

The 57-year-old is in Palmerston North Hospital with multiple skull and facial fractures and cuts. He also lost part of a hand in the attack.

An 18-year-old man and 14-year-old male youth appeared in the Youth Court at Whanganui on Monday charged with assault and with stealing a car and trying to burn it.

Police expect to lay further charges at a future appearance.

Because they are jointly accused, the pair must be dealt with in the Youth Court, although the 18-year-old will be treated as an adult.

They were in the dock for some minutes before an apparent dispute over legal representation saw them stood down for almost two hours.

When they were recalled, both were remanded in custody - the adult in jail and the youth under the care of Child, Youth and Family.

Judge Peter Callinicos granted interim name suppression but says fairly compelling reasons would be needed to continue suppression for the adult accused at their next appearance on 22 December.