Hamilton COVID-19 managed isolation absconder charged

The man who escaped managed isolation in Hamilton on Thursday has been charged.

Martin James McVicar, 52, appeared in court on Friday and has been remanded in custody of corrections.

McVicar, a Queenstown resident, has been charged with intentionally failing to comply with an order under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 by leaving a managed isolation facility and purchasing alcohol.

The second charge is of intentionally damaging a 52-inch television belonging to the Distinction Hotel.

He is the third person to have escaped from managed isolation after a woman fled Auckland's Pullman Hotel on Saturday, and a man absconded from the Stamford Plaza to an Auckland supermarket on Tuesday.

Martin James McVicar appeared in court via a video link on Friday.
Martin James McVicar appeared in court via a video link on Friday. Photo credit: Newshub

McVicar had been staying at the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton after returning to New Zealand from Sydney on July 1.

On Friday afternoon Minister of Health Chris Hipkins confirmed McVicar had climbed down a fire escape and cut through the fence ties to escape around 6:30pm on Thursday.

He entered Brews liquor store on Te Rapa Road and bought a four-pack of beer and a bottle of pinot noir. 

A worker told Newshub on Friday the store has been closed for cleaning.