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The man who killed a prison guard behind bars after a police chase in Auckland

Latu Kepu killed prison guard Jason Palmer in 2010. He is currently serving a short sentence after being involved in a police chase that only ended when his tires were nailed.  (File photo)

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Latu Kepu killed prison guard Jason Palmer in 2010. He is currently serving a short sentence after being involved in a police chase that only ended when his tires were nailed. (File photo)

A notorious criminal whose case file includes the murder of a prison guard has been sentenced to another jail term after running red lights, speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Latu Kepu was only arrested after police laid spikes in the night chase earlier this year.

He appeared in Auckland District Court on Wednesday via audio-visual link from jail.

Judge Tony Fitzgerald said Kepu was spotted by police late on the night of May 12 running a red light on Queen St.

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When officers in a patrol car flashed their headlights, Kepu drove away, sometimes driving on the wrong side of the road and running other red lights.

Judge Fitzgerald said Kepu’s car was only stopped when police spiked the road.

He sentenced Kepu to 14 days in prison and suspended his driver’s license for 12 months.

The judge said Kepu had four pages of previous convictions, but few related to driving.

Jason Palmer died in Middlemore Hospital after being punched by Latu Kepu.

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Jason Palmer died in Middlemore Hospital after being punched by Latu Kepu.

One such conviction was for the murder of prison guard and former US Marine Jason Palmer at Springhill Prison in 2010.

Kepu was sentenced to an additional six years and four months in prison the same year.

Judge Paul Heath called Kepu’s actions “cowardly”.

Kepu punched Palmer in the mouth with his fist, causing him to fall back and bang his head against the concrete floor.

The father-of-three never regained consciousness and died at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland from a brain injury.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement