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Woman charged with assisting Taylor's escape

Woman charged with assisting Taylor's escape

A 29-year-old woman was arrested in Northland and appeared in the Whangarei District Court yesterday charged with assisting in last week's escape of Arthur William Taylor in central Wellington.

The woman has been remanded in custody to appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow, 30 March. She has interim suppression of name.

Detective Inspector Gary Knowles, head of Wellington CIB, says the woman was arrested after receiving treatment for a minor road crash.

He says police throughout the North Island are still looking for Manu Royal, a 45-year-old male Maori, for his role in the brazen but short lived escape in the city last Tuesday afternoon.

"We've had a team working all weekend on the inquiry and we're being assisted by colleagues throughout the North Island," Detective Inspector Knowles says.

"We're continuing to follow up information from the public and from the criminal fraternity."

Royal is described as 187cm tall, of medium build, narrow or gaunt facial features, and greying hair.

Police have not found the firearm involved in the escape and warn that Royal should be considered dangerous.

Taylor was with three Department of Corrections officers on his way to a pre-planned meeting at a Manners Mall office when a gunman emerged from the shadows of the building's carpark, and pointed the firearm believed to be a pistol, at the officers. Both Taylor and the gunman fled although Taylor was caught by police a short time later in another city carpark building.

Taylor reappears in the Wellington District Court on Thursday, 31 March, charged with escaping from custody, three charges of kidnapping and three of presenting a firearm to law enforcement officers.

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