Court recognises bravery of armed robbery victims

November 19, 2015 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-06A dairy customer has got special mention at court for getting involved to foil the armed robbery of a Hoon Hay shop.

“He felt obliged to get involved,” said Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll as he jailed the two armed robbers for four years three months for two robberies.

“He wasn’t forced into the aggravated robbery as the two victims (the dairy owners) were. He clearly put himself in harm’s way in going to assist,” said the judge.

“While others may have not wanted to get involved and would have walked away to get assistance from others, he ended up in the middle of the aggravated robbery and for his efforts he was assaulted.”

Jesse Mana-Roy Kahu, 21, and Claudia Jade Francis Martin, 20, had admitted carrying out both robberies on August 31. Kahu had also admitted charges of assault, wilful damage of a family member’s home, two breaches of bail, and a threatening-to-kill charge. Martin admitted an assault charge.

In the first robbery, Kahu struck the customer with the replica pistol he was using to try to get cigarettes, tobacco and money from the till.

Martin got into a struggle with the shop owner who took a crowbar off her, and later chased her and took the bag of loot off her. The owner had been struck with the crowbar.

The two carried out a second robbery quarter of an hour later at an Addington dairy where the woman owner was threatened and the two got away with cash and cigarettes. The woman had said that she would open the till if Kahu lowered the pistol, and he did that.

One dairy owner and his customer received cuts to the head, and the woman was fearful after the robbery.

“It seems all the victims were extremely brave when confronted by armed attackers,” said the judge.

For Kahu, defence counsel Peter Doody asked the court to take into account the offender’s age, and his comment that he was “pretty much out it” at the time of the robberies after a period of drug abuse. Drug taking was not a mitigating factor but it accounted for impulsive behaviour and a disregard for the consequences.

Defence counsel Andrew Bailey, for Martin, asked the judge to factor into the sentencing her difficult background and the remorse evident at her pre-sentence interview.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll gave both them the first strike warning that imposes heavier sentences on repeat violent offenders.

He said Kahu was assessed as being a high risk of further offending and causing harm to others. He had carried out the robberies to get money to buy drugs.

Martin’s drug taking had also significantly contributed to the offending. He hoped that the counselling she has been receiving while in custody could continue.

No reparation order was made because the two offenders had no assets and no prospects, and faced a long prison term.


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