Over-eager getaway driver admits role in robbery

October 21, 2014 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-07Marcus Raphael Hatcher has admitted being the getaway driver who left one of his armed robbers behind when he sped off from the scene of a synthetic cannabis raid.

He pleaded guilty today to the charge of being a party to the armed robbery of the R-18 store in Stanmore Road, Linwood, on the night of May 7.

Hatcher and two others carried out the robbery about 40min before the midnight ban on sales of synthetic cannabis, imposed by a legislative change at Parliament.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders remanded Hatcher in custody for sentencing with one of his co-offenders, 18-year-old Isaiah Herbert, on November 25. Herbert pleaded guilty last week.

The judge asked for a pre-sentence report on Hatcher but did not ask for a report on his suitability for home detention, effectively ruling that out as a sentencing option.

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie told the court: “At age 30, Mr Hatcher has an unblemished character. This was clearly a situation of synthetic drugs and a life going out of control.”

He urged the judge to leave the way open for a home detention sentence because Hatcher had accommodation available, employment prospects, was remorseful, had insight to the offending, and prospects for rehabilitation.

But Judge Saunders remanded him in custody for sentence and told him his best option might be to try for release from prison under residential restrictions when he came before the Parole Board, if he had a drug treatment plan completed or under way.

He also remanded Hatcher for sentence on charges of burglary and intentional damage of a cellphone. He noted Hatcher was on bail for the burglary when he committed the robbery.

Hatcher was the driver for two knife-armed robbers who went into the store and threatened to stab the shop assistant if he did not open the till. The man opened it, in fear of his life.

Herbert grabbed between $300 and $500 from the till and then grabbed between 25 and 30 packets of B-52 Berry Bomb synthetic cannabis and put the packets inside a shopping bag. Each packet was worth about $30.

When Herbert left the store, Hatcher drove him away in the waiting car while the other armed robber was still inside the store, trying to get the shop assistant to open the sale. When he wasn’t able to open it, the robber punched him several times.

He then ran out of the store and found the getaway car had left without him, so he ran north on Stanmore Road.

The car was stopped by police in Fitzgerald Avenue soon afterwards. It contained Hatcher and Herbert and most of the stolen property.

The robber who was left behind has never been identified.

Category: News

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