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British ‘gypsy’ accused of fraud, assault and dangerous driving flees New Zealand on wrong passport

James Anthony Nolan, 26, managed to fly out of New Zealand on another person’s passport

An unruly British ‘gypsy’ accused of fraud, assault and dangerous driving has managed to flee New Zealand on another person’s passport. 

James Anthony Nolan, 26, used an eGate to scan the fraudulent passport which flagged him for further checks.

But a member of staff failed to realise he was not the same person – and allowed Nolan on the flight. Customs Minister Kris Faafoi blamed ‘human error’ and said it was a ‘very rare’ occurrence.

Nolan’s extended family have been accused of wreaking havoc across New Zealand by locals. The tourists were faced with claims that they left a cafe without paying, damaged their rented apartment and stole a journalist’s phone.

Their stint of mayhem across New Zealand led to the group being labelled ‘a*******’ and ‘trash’ by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. A petition to have them removed amassed more than 2,500 signatures.

Now, New Zealand Customs officials have spoken out after news broke that Nolan had evaded authorities by leaving the country, The New Zealand Herald reported. 

Nolan is pictured, right, with a family member. New Zealand Customs released a statement after news broke that Nolan had managed to evade authorities

Nolan is pictured, right, with a family member. New Zealand Customs released a statement after news broke that Nolan had managed to evade authorities

A spokesman said: ‘James Nolan deliberately circumvented border controls by using a valid passport that was not his own. Unfortunately, that was a case of human error, which shouldn’t have occurred. 

‘Staff are being reminded of the importance of visual checks and validating the identity of all travellers.’

Nolan, along with his acquaintances Tommy Ward, 26, and William Donohue, 25, were arrested on February 19 after allegations of a roofing scam. 

Last month, Auckland resident Heidrun Leonard, 82, claimed some men offered to fix her roof for $8,800 (£4,800) but fled with the funds.

Nolan ran away from Auckland District Court when he was given bail on January 25

Nolan ran away from Auckland District Court when he was given bail on January 25

The men, claiming to be tradesmen, allegedly knocked on the elderly woman’s door on January 4, saying they noticed her roof was leaking. 

Ms Leonard said they offered to fix the problem but demanded money upfront.

‘I was outside, they passed by and they said ‘we would be able to get your roof alright,’ and I didn’t know there was something wrong with it but I thought it wouldn’t be too bad,’ she told NewsHub New Zealand.

They allegedly told her to give them the $8,800, and once the job was done the job, she would get money back. 

Ms Leonard wrote a cheque, which was cashed at a bank a short time later. 

Mr Nolan allegedly used a new eGate to process his passport before he was flagged for further checks. However a member of staff allowed Nolan to board the plane (file photo)

Mr Nolan allegedly used a new eGate to process his passport before he was flagged for further checks. However a member of staff allowed Nolan to board the plane (file photo)

The men then returned to the woman’s home the next morning and cut a hole in her roof, she said. 

But they allegedly fled the property with the money when Ms Leonard’s neighbour began asking questions.

Ms Leonard said she recognised the men when the family made headlines across the world for their antics around the country. 

Nolan had a warrant for his arrest in relation to another incident where he subsequently failed to appear at the District Court.

Nolan, along with his acquaintances Tommy Ward, 26, (left) and William Donohue, 25, (right) were arrested on February 19 after allegations of a roofing scam

He is accused of driving his car at a young woman who filmed him and his extended family when they left piles of rubbish at a Auckland beach last month. 

Krista Curnow, who captured dramatic footage of the picnic incident, alleged a man drove towards her as she tried to film the car’s number plate. 

Nolan went on the run after he was charged with assaulting the woman and he failed to appear in court for the second time on February 7.   

He ran away from Auckland District Court when he was given bail on January 25. 

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