Meth-eating gang member sentenced to 11 years in prison

Meth-eating gang member sentenced to 11 years in prison

A Black Power member who took a south Auckland resident hostage during a P-fuelled police chase says he owes his life to his victim.

Tai Poulson was sentenced to 11 years, two months in prison in the Hamilton District Court on Monday, facing a number of charges.

His charges included aggravated burglary, failing to stop, threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm, possession of methamphetamine, using a firearm against police, unlawfully taking a vehicle and dangerous driving.

The 27-year-old was chased by police from Auckland's North Shore to Waikato and claims he ate three grams of methamphetamine during the pursuit.

The 125km chase began in the early hours of March 22, when police were called to a vehicle doing burnouts and donuts in Takapuna.

The Holden ute and a BMW had been stolen from a nearby property at gunpoint before the ute took off at over 150km/h.

Police decided a chase at such speed put the safety of the public at risk and so the pursuit was called off.

Spikes were laid at the Bombay Hills, but Poulson continued to drive south, and eventually ended up in a nearby cul-de-sac.

The armed offenders squad cordoned off the area but the man, again wielding a gun, entered one of the homes at the end of the road belonging to a couple in their 60s.

Poulson told the man to accompany him to his Ford Falcon and led the police on yet another chase, which ended when road spikes were laid. The driver eventually gave himself up at Horotiu, just north of Hamilton.

Police said the couple in their 60s were both shaken by the incident, but the man who was taken hostage remained calm throughout and tried to get the offender to calm down.

Upon arrest, police discovered eight grams of methamphetamine on the offender, and he told them he had swallowed another three grams.

"This is something he will never forget," said Judge Denise Clark of Poulson's victim. "He felt he had no control over what would happen. He talked with you about your behaviour, your family and why you were behaving in this way.

"In your probation report you said you were thankful for how your victim talked to you. He convinced you not to take your own life.

"It seems there is an emerging sign you realise what remorse is."

No one was injured in the incident.