Holiday bribes given to robbery victims

May 5, 2016 | By More

Court House-general2Victims of a robbery were offered money and sent on holiday to get them to withdraw their statements to police, the Christchurch District Court was told.

A mother and son have pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, over the offers made to the victim of an aggravated robbery the son has now admitted.

On December 13, 2014, Ricky Michael Smith, 25, and others confronted their victims to get drugs. They took property, and struck one of the men.

When he was in prison, Ricky Smith phoned his mother about influencing the victims to recant their statements to the police.

Connie Elizabeth Smith, 49, met with the victims and gave them money. She also arranged for one victim to engage a solicitor in an effort to get his statement withdrawn, and they were sent on holiday, out of town, on two of Ricky Smith’s court dates.

Judge Raoul Neave convicted the pair, and read Ricky Smith the first of the three strike warnings given to repeat violent offenders.

He said the offending was gang-related, but there were no significant effects on the victim who was assaulted.

Judge Neave remanded Ricky Smith in custody for a disputed facts hearing about whether weapons were used in the robbery, on June 22.

He remanded Connie Smith on bail, and they will both be sentenced on August 17. He ordered a pre-sentence report to include Connie Smith’s suitability for a home detention sentence, and a restorative justice meeting.

He warned her that any attempt to contact the victims again would result in a remand in custody, and she is to have no contact with her son until after the disputed facts hearing.



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