Two youths admit violent bottle shop robbery

September 22, 2015 | By More

Court House-entranceTwo youths have admitted their roles in the violent robbery of a Woolston liquor store in which bottles were smashed over the shop attendant’s head.

Youth Court Judge Jane McMeeken remarked about how good both the teenagers were looking after more than three weeks in custody since the robbery.

“It is amazing what no drugs and alcohol does, and good sleep,” she told the 15-year-old who did not deny charges of aggravated robbery and unlawfully getting into a car.

“You are looking healthy and alert. Everything about you looks good,” she said. “You should remember how this feels and stay away from drugs and alcohol.”

She also asked the other young offender if he had been thinking about his life. He said he had.

The second youth, aged 16, did not deny charges of aggravated robbery, unlawfully getting into a car, possession of an offensive weapon, assaulting two police officers by spitting, and assaulting a woman officer. Details of the last assault charge are still disputed.

Both have now been remanded in Ministry of Social Development custody to October 6. Family group conferences will be held in the meantime, and the outcome of the conferences will be reported to the judge on that day.

Conferences can settle on a plan for the young person’s future, which is then put before the judge.

The second youth is being held in a youth justice facility in Palmerston North because there are no beds available in Christchurch at present. Judge McMeeken directed that he must attend the conference in person rather than by video-link.

“It is going to be a significant conference for his victims and for him and his life. He simply must be there,” she said.

The police said two teenagers entered the bottle store in Ferry Road about 10.55pm on August 29 and picked up large bottles of alcohol.

When they tried to leave the store without paying, the shop attendant asked them to put the bottles back and leave the store.

The youths refused and there was a struggle. When the attendant began calling the police one of them tried to wrestle the telephone from him and the other smashed a bottle over his head.

Both of them then smashed bottles over his head.

That attendant, a second attendant, and a customer hid in a store room while the youths took bottles of alcohol and left in a car that had been unlawfully taken.

Security camera footage inside the shop showed the incident clearly, but a judge has ruled that the images cannot be used in media coverage because of Youth Court restrictions.

A third person, 17-year-old Tamatea Lorenzo Briggs, is in custody on remand for a case review hearing on November 2 after denying charges of aggravated robbery and intentionally injuring a man. He has admitted driving while forbidden and unlawfully taking the car of the man he is accused of injuring. Because he is older, he is being dealt with in the District Court.


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