Long jail term for robber-on-a-bike

August 22, 2017 | By More

A man has been jailed for over seven years for two armed robberies of Kiwibanks, where he made his getaways on a red bicycle.

In the Christchurch District Court, Judge John Macdonald also imposed a minimum period of imprisonment of three years and six months before he can be considered for parole.

Brent James Atkinson, 48, robbed the Bush Inn Centre and Riccarton Road branches of the bank over a week in January.

About 1.30pm on January 19, 2017, Atkinson parked his bike outside the Bush Inn Centre Kiwibank, pulled a balaclava over his face, and entered the bank wearing his bike helmet.

He approached two staff members, handed one a red bag, the other a plastic shopping bag, and told them to give him all the money. He pointed a firearm at them.

He was given $2150 in cash, walked out of the bank, and rode away on his bike.

On January 25, at 12.30pm he did the same thing at the Riccarton Road branch, and left with about $1200 cash.

Defence counsel Bryan Green gave the judge a letter of apology for the victims, from Atkinson.

Crown prosecutor Sean Mallett said the Crown wanted a minimum period of imprisonment imposed on Atkinson as he had two previous convictions for aggravated robberies on chemists in 2008.

Mr Mallett said Atkinson’s pre-sentence report said he was at a moderate risk of re-offending and a moderate risk of harm to others, and asked for $3350 reparation for the banks.

He said it was brazen serious offending, and a terrifying ordeal for the staff and customers involved.

Judge Macdonald said Atkinson had an extensive list of convictions, and told the police he did the robberies to get money to help a friend with a drug addiction.

He said there was a significant impact on the staff and customers in the banks, and imposed the prison sentence of seven years two months, with the minimum period of imprisonment.

He ordered Atkinson pay the reparation after his release from prison.

He said he had already given Atkinson the first of the three strike warnings for repeat violent offenders.

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