Ex-fugitive Paul Bennett pleads not guilty

Paul Bennett and his wife Simone Anne Wright (Newshub.)
Paul Bennett and his wife Simone Anne Wright (Newshub.)

Notorious former fugitive Paul Bennett has pleaded not guilty to all 60 charges he faces, including fraud, theft and indecent assault.

Bennett, 53, was deported from Australia last month and arrested at Christchurch International Airport. The charge of indecent assault relates to a 15-year-old girl he allegedly supplied with the class B drug ecstasy.

The alleged frauds and thefts total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A further 12 charges were laid by the Civil Aviation Authority earlier this month, alleging Bennett flew a helicopter without a pilot's license and without the necessary medical certificate.

All the offending is alleged to have taken place in 2014 in Christchurch, Hamilton, Upper Hutt and Paraparaumu.

Bennett also goes by the name of David Kite or Dennis Kite. He was on the run until February last year, when he was arrested near Sydney aboard a $140,000, 14-metre yacht stolen from Northland.

Bennett was remanded in custody for a case review hearing on September 5.  He has elected trial by a judge alone.