Dairy raider faces long jail term

A 25-year-old faces serving all of the jail term he gets for an armed dairy raid where the owner and his wife fought back.

Edward Paul Paterson is a second-strike offender who pleaded guilty to an armed burglary charge at the Christchurch District Court today, just as his trial was due to start.

Judge Gary MacAskill read him a second-strike warning, which means he will serve all of whatever term is imposed, without parole or early release.

The warning means that if he ever commits a third serious violent offence he will get the maximum jail term for that charge.

Judge MacAskill remanded Paterson in custody for sentencing on June 21. He asked for a pre-sentence report and a victim impact statement.

Defence counsel Andrew Bailey said Paterson had expressed interest in a restorative justice meeting, which would be a chance to apologise to the dairy owners – Kamlesh Patel and his wife Neeta, of the Opawa Discounter dairy.

Crown prosecutor Pip Norman said no reparation was sought because nothing ended up being taken in the incident on July 30, 2016.

Judge MacAskill said it was “probably pointless” seeking a report on Paterson’s ability to pay emotional harm reparations to the victims because he would have no resources available.

Paterson pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated burglary – entering the shop with intent to commit a crime while armed with a taser. Six other charges mainly alleging unlawful possession of weapons were withdrawn.

Miss Norman said no summary of facts was available for the court yet. Because of the last minute change of charges it was still being amended and would be provided before sentencing.

Coverage at the time said that it was the fourth time Kamlesh Patel had battled armed raiders at his dairy in Opawa Road. It was the third time the offender came off second best, he said.

The incident happened soon after the dairy opened about 8am. Patel was out the back of the store but came out when he heard the door bell sound.

He found a man wearing a balaclava behind the counter, trying to open the shutter where the cigarettes were kept.

He grabbed the intruder by his hoodie and called to his wife and daughter for help.

During the struggle that followed, he pulled the man’s balaclava off, partly revealing his face.

The man tried to use a stun gun, and while Patel was protected by his leather jacket, his wife received a bruise on her arm.

The intruder ran out, but the Patels ran after him and noted his car’s licence plate.

Police set up a cordon and stopped the car on Tunnel Road a short time later. They found weapons in the vehicle and arrested Paterson.

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