2 Jul 2015

Contractor pleads guilty to Glock theft

1:45 pm on 2 July 2015

A contractor pleaded guilty to the theft of two-police issue Glock pistols when he appeared in the New Plymouth District Court this morning.

Benjamin Manwaring Downes

Benjamin Manwaring Downes Photo: RNZ/ Robin Martin

New Plymouth man Benjamin Manwaring Downes faced charges of theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The 40-year-old had access to the evidential strong room at the New Plymouth District Court.

He has admitted taking two Glock pistols, magazines and ammunition from the strongroom sometime after December 2004.

He passed one of the pistols onto an associate in exchange for drugs.

It was only noticed they were missing when police recovered the other Glock two years ago.

Both of the pistols were used during the fatal police shooting of Waitara man Stephen Wallace in 2000.

Judge Chris Sygrove remanded Downes for sentencing by an out-of-town judge on 21 September.

The nature of Downes' work and the name of his employer are suppressed.