9 Mar 2018

Man jailed for more than 11 years after firing at police officers

12:47 pm on 9 March 2018

A man who evaded police for six days after firing at officers and stealing two cars has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Joshua Mason Kite

Joshua Kite Photo: NZ Police

Joshua Kite was sentenced to 11 years and six months by Justice Hinton at the Auckland High Court today.

JKite will serve four years for drug charges and another seven-and-a-half for the other charges.

Kite's offending began in August 2016 after he failed to stop for officers in Whangarei. He then fled, fired at three police officers with a gun and stole two cars, including a police car.

He was arrested six days later in South Auckland.

He pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, driving dangerously, failing to stop for police, firing at police officers, impersonating a police officer, carrying a firearm and stealing two cars.

Addressing Justice Hinton, Kite apologised to the police and the officers he shot at, to the New Zealand public and to his family.

"I was scared after the crash and wanted to exit the situation," he said.

Kite 'wished' and 'prayed' for mercy.

His lawyer Annabel Cresswell said Kite had not yet established a community after leaving prison in mid-2015 and had fallen into a pattern of bad decision-making.

Kite "panicked" and made "desperate attempts to avoid prison", Ms Cresswell said.

Justice Hinton said Kite's actions were "stupid" and that he had had a chance and "blew it".

"He slid in a spectacular fashion," Justice Hinton said.

But she agreed that it appeared Kite needed more support than what he received after leaving prison.

Crown lawyer Henry Steele said Kite's offending was serious and he had made the decision to arm himself with a gun with the intention of "avoiding apprehension".