1 Feb 2013

E-bail accused fled country after medical appointment

8:28 pm on 1 February 2013

A man on electronic bail while awaiting trial on child sex charges fled New Zealand after being allowed to keep a medical appointment, police have revealed.

The trial of the 42-year-old, who has name suppression, was aborted in the Greymouth District Court on Monday.

Police said the man was wearing an electronic anklet which was being monitored while he was at a stipulated address.

They said an alarm was triggered when he did not return from a medical appointment at 7pm on 24 January this year.

Christchurch police were notified the following day that the man had left New Zealand.

Police believe they know which country the man is in and are trying to track him down, but won't say where.

On Thursday night, the Justice Ministry said it had failed to alert the Department of Internal Affairs that bail conditions ordered the man to surrender any passport and banned him from getting another one.

However on Friday, the ministry said those conditions were never imposed and instead were mistakenly included on a bail bond passed to police by the Greymouth District Court.

The ministry said it is investigating how the wrong bail details were recorded. Police are also investigating the matter.