Tourists carjacked by drunk teenager

February 3, 2017 | By More

Two European tourists were punched and kicked by 17-year-old Rahiri Tai in a Riccarton Road carjacking.

The teenager now faces a reparation claim for the full cost of the rental car he robbed from them because he crashed and wrecked it a few minutes later.

Tai pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court today, to charges of robbery, dangerous driving, driving with excess breath-alcohol, and shoplifting.

Judge Tom Gilbert remanded him on bail to April 12 for sentencing and ordered a pre-sentence report to cover his suitability for home or community detention.

Defence counsel Ruth Harcourt said she was in discussions with the police about a disqualified driving charge which Tai denied, and it could be resolved before the sentencing.

Police prosecutor Nicola Stratton said the tourists were a man from the Netherlands and his partner from Germany, who encountered Tai early on January 9 when they pulled into the carpark of motels on Riccarton Road.

Tai had been trying to open the doors of parked cars.

He went up to the couple as they got out of their car, threatened to kill the man and demanded the keys.

The couple told him to go away, so Tai punched the man in the face. The man managed to avoid several more blows.

The woman tried to restrain Tai, who then punched her four or five times and kicked her twice in the legs. The man then gave him the keys to stop the attack, and the couple retreated to their motel room.

Tai drove off along the Main South Road at speeds between 100 and 140kmh in the 50kmh area, without lights on. He was not seen to brake as he came to the Sockburn roundabout where he lost control and crashed into a fence.

The rental car was badly damaged, and items inside belonging to the couple were also damaged.

Tai had 205mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

The man he robbed was not injured but the woman had a headache afterwards, Miss Stratton told the court.

Tai said he could not remember the incident. He has no previous convictions.

The police are seeking reparations for the damaged gear belonging to the tourists, the full cost of the wrecked car, and the damage to the fence he hit.

Tai admitted that a few hours before the incident he stole three one-litre bottles of spirits from a liquor shop on Riccarton Road. He walked out with the liquor and yelled abuse at a staff member who tried to get the liquor back. The liquor was worth $125.

He told police he had been drinking that day and did not remember what had happened.


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Category: Focus

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