Unknown drug dealer avoided robbery

October 19, 2016 | By More
File image. © Andrew Bardwell

File image. © Andrew Bardwell

Two people who admitted plotting to “roll” an unknown drug dealer were jailed in the Christchurch District Court.

They had admitted charges of conspiring to commit the aggravated robbery of a victim the police have never been able to identify.

The court was told that police had begun a covert electronic investigation into 38-year-old Russell Stafford Ricardo Harris, and were intercepting his private communications.

On April 7, 2016, 22-year-old Paula Hardaker phoned Harris to tell him she had a male wanting to purchase drugs worth $12,000.

They decided they were going to rob the victim of his money, and Hardaker was to arrange for him to be at her address, inside the living room.

Once Hardaker had seen the money she would contact Harris who would come in and commit the robbery.

For some reason the victim did not turn up, and Hardaker and Harris were picked up by police in a car on Main South Road. A pistol was found in the car.

Defence counsel for Harris, Ethan Huda, said Harris told the probation report writer that his offending was only against people who led a similar lifestyle to him.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said he was sentencing Harris on a charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, unlawful possession of a pistol, and possession of a Samurai sword in a public place on December 29.

He said the offending was premeditated, and as his risk of harm was not diminishing, and there was no reduction in his offending, he sentenced Harris to two years six months’ prison, and ordered the destruction of the sword.

Hardaker was caught up in an unfortunate position, and had decided to rid herself of negative influences in her life, her defence counsel Allister Davis said.

She was determined to deal with her drug addiction which was the catalyst for this offending, he said.

Judge O’Driscoll said Hardaker had been caught in a methamphetamine addiction, and was with the wrong crowd.

He sentenced her on conspiracy to commit an aggravated robbery, and unlawful possession of a pistol, to 13 months’ prison, with special release conditions for six months to take any counselling or treatment recommended by her parole officer to address her drug addiction.

He put off sentencing her on a receiving charge, where she had tried to sell stolen jewellery on Trade Me, and remanded her on bail to January 25, when he said he would impose a 12 months’ intensive supervision sentence so she will be under monitoring for longer.

A third person who was originally charged with conspiracy to commit the robbery, Grant Campbell Flood, a 31-year-old drainlayer, was granted a discharge without conviction after a separate hearing on Tuesday.

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Category: Focus

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