Court told of armed raid on tinny house

December 4, 2013 | By More

Court House-general2A 21-year-old has been granted home detention after admitting his role in the robbery of a cannabis dealer who was bound and shut in a cupboard at a suburban Christchurch tinny house.

Carlos Santana Whittaker, of Avonside, has been in prison since his arrest for being a party to the armed burglary by three men in Bishopdale on October 2.

Defence counsel Steve Hembrow said: “He’s a deeply ashamed young man. He has had two months in prison and he doesn’t like it. He’s found it really difficult.”

Whittaker was not a hard man, but a “softy,” he said. “At 21, he’s still a kid.” His family were surprised by the offending, which was out of character. They were at court to support him.

Whittaker had pleaded guilty to being a party to an aggravated burglary.

He went with two gang members – one of them armed with a large knife, unknown to Whittaker – on a visit to cannabis-dealing  house in Raleigh Street. When the dealer refused to let them in, Whittaker persuaded him to open the door because he knew him.

The two gang members then attacked the man, bound him with thick black tape, asked if they should “shank” (stab) him, and then forced him into the bottom of the water heater cupboard. Mr Hembrow said Whittaker left the house as soon as he realised what was happening, but he has acknowedged taking some items.

Electronic gear worth $3000, including important and irreplaceable personal music recordings, were found to be missing when the man got out of the cupboard.

Police records showed that Whittaker was “panicking and hyped” when he went to a friend’s place soon afterwards, where he said: “I just jacked a tinny dealer.”

Judge Phillip Moran said Whittaker had helped and encouraged the two robbers by his presence.

He was keen to arrange a restorative justice meeting to apologise to the victim.

Judge Moran agreed with the defence suggestion that home detention could be imposed, and sentenced him to 10 months’ detention at an address in North New Brighton, with six months of post-release conditions, and 150 hours of community work. He also ordered Whittaker to pay his $775 share of the reparations.

Category: Focus

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