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Prisoner remains on the run after funeral

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/10/2016 Dave Williams

A man awaiting trial on rape and drugs charges who was allowed out of prison to attend his grandfather's funeral is still on the run more than two weeks later.

Turei Crawford, 23, was meant to be released for five hours on October 3 for the funeral in Napier and court bail documents show his mother was supposed to return him to Hawke's Bay Prison afterwards.

Crawford is set to face trial in February and although assessed for an electronic monitoring bracelet,was denied bail a number of times before his grandfather died at the end of September.

He was granted bail on compassionate grounds to attend the funeral after his lawyer made an urgent application to the judge on the day of the service.

As with normal bail, the charged person is released from custody and the onus is on them to return.

Corrections Department national operations manager Leigh Marsh, in a statement to NZ Newswire, says it wasn't appropriate or feasible for Crawford to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet because of the short notice and short duration he would be on bail.

Electronic monitoring must also be ordered by the court after Corrections have had time to investigate things like address suitability and cellular network coverage.

Meanwhile, police believe Crawford is still in the Napier area and are hoping the public will help track him down.

Detective Senior Sergeant Martin James says they have been speaking to Crawford's family.

"Including his mother, and they have been co-operative."

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