More charges likely against armed robbery accused

Police say more charges are likely against an Ilam man who is now accused of robbing two Canterbury pubs, and a double shooting at Rolleston.

Two new charges were laid against the 23-year-old man when he made his second appearance in the Christchurch District Court today.

Judge John Macdonald further remanded him in custody, without plea, to May 29 when he will appear by video-link from the prison.

At the request of defence counsel Helen Coutts, appearing for Jonathan Eaton QC, continued name suppression was granted with the support of the police.

Judge Macdonald said the order was sought because police inquiries were continuing and further charges were likely. Mrs Coutts said it was also sought because a report had been commissioned to explore mental health issues.

The judge declined a media application for the man to be photographed in court, because identification would inevitably be a critical issue at any trial, and his fair trial rights had to be preserved.

The suppression order was made at the man’s first appearance on April 20, when he appeared on charges of wounding two women with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, and the robbery of the Hotel Ashburton while armed with a pump-action shotgun.

Now he has been charged with presenting a shotgun at a man at Rolleston on April 19, the same date as the other shootings, and robbing a woman of cash while armed with a rifle, at Springston on April 6.

Police said at the time that a man entered the Springston hotel about 10.30pm on April 6. Two shots were fired into the air during the robbery, but no-one was injured.

Canterbury hotels were subjected to a spate of armed robberies around that time. The premises hit included Tavern Harewood, the Brickworks bar and restaurant, and Trevino’s in Riccarton.

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