‘Public service’ in tinny house robbery

Court House-doorwayRobbers saw a raid on a Christchurch tinny house selling synthetic cannabis as a public service against people doing harm to the community.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish at least partly agreed when she refused to order reparations for the $4000 worth of household items, jewellery, and electronic gear and $1000 cash that was taken.

She agreed with what one of the robbers, Simon Barry Sekai, 27, said ahead of their sentencing. “You said these two young people were running a synthetic cannabis tinny house and they should not be rewarded by you although you have taken these items from them.”

Sekai was one of four charged with the armed robbery. Judge Farish said that although he had been armed with a screwdriver, he had not used any violence himself.

Another of those charged, who is one of two still to be dealt with, wrote a letter to the judge saying that the four had carried out the raid because the tinny house was “causing harm within your community by selling synthetic cannabis”.

She told Sekai: “I am not going to order you to pay reparation because there is truth in what you expressed that these items were bought by illegal means.”

She jailed Sekai for three years and urged him to do alcohol and drug, or other rehabilitation programmes during his sentence.

“I know you are a father,” she said. “It is important if you want to be a dad to remain in the community and be a positive role model for your child. You have now got other people to consider.”

A second of the raiders, Corey Martin, 19, was sentenced to seven months’ home detention at his mother’s address where he is looking after his child. He will also have six months of post-release conditions, and attend programmes to deal with alcohol and drug, and offending issues.

She noted he was no longer using synthetic cannabis and was trying to be a good father.

His mother was in court and spoke about Martin’s time at her address on remand on electronically monitored bail. She told Judge Farish: “He has complied with everything I have asked of him. He is a different boy. Thank you for giving him this chance.”


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