A 31-year-old man has appeared in a secure room at the Wellington District Court today after allegedly damaging glass panels with an axe at Parliament this morning.
The bail hearing was in the secure space following an assessment by the security team and concerns about the man’s mental state.
Media were not able to attend the hearing as the room was so small, but the judge gave reporters a briefing once it had finished, noting it was only the second time in 10 years he had to use the secure area.
The man is facing three charges including intent to damage, resisting a constable, and possessing an offensive weapon without authority or lawful excuse.
The 31-year-old is also facing another, separate charge of intent to damage after smashing glass at a petrol station in Rotorua on December 4.
The defendant was granted bail by the judge on the grounds he remained in custody at Wellington District Court for further mental health assessments, after which he will be bailed to a mental health facility.
Judge Hastings is now seeking reports on the man’s fitness to enter a plea and his sanity. He described the man as “calm” during the proceedings.
He told media the defendant made several comments during the hearing which confirmed the concerns about his mental health, however the judge said these were not racially or politically motivated.
There was no indication today’s events have any link to the rioting and invasion of the United States Capitol in Washington DC last week.
The man will appear again in court on January 26.