Meth-fuelled taser-armed raider jailed

A taser-wielding dairy raider – caught when the Opawa dairy owner and his wife fought back – can look forward to release from prison probably in 2021.

Edward Paul Paterson’s methamphetamine-assisted decision to get cigarettes and not pay for them has been disastrous.

He went to the Opawa Discounter store in Opawa Road about 7.50am on July 30, 2016, wearing a balaclava and armed with a taser torch which could make a loud crackle and incapacitate a victim.

Things went wrong as he tried to get cigarettes from the cabinet, when dairy owner Kamlesh Patel saw him, began to struggle with him and called his wife.

Paterson, 25, used the taser on Mr Patel several times but it had no effect through his leather jacket.

When Neeta Patel joined in, he used the shock device on her arm causing “violent pain”.

Mr Patel pulled the balaclava partly off in the struggle, exposing Paterson’s face. When he ran from the store empty handed to his car parked 30m away, they took his registration number.

His car was stopped by police nearby in Tunnel Road. The police found firearms, ammunition, and a pipe for smoking methamphetamine in the car.

It turned out, Paterson was on parole from a five-year sentence imposed in 2013 for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, threatening to kill, and assault.

That meant he was a first strike offender and he was immediately recalled to serve another 18 months of that sentence.

He will be due to finish that sentence in February next year, when the latest sentence for armed burglary of the diary, imposed by Christchurch District Court Judge Gary MacAskill today, will kick in.

With additional cumulative terms for the weapons offences, it amounts to another three years five months.

And because it is now a second strike offence – because of his earlier warning – Paterson has to serve all the armed burglary time without parole or early release.

Judge MacAskill said the pre-sentence report identified Paterson’s issues as drug addiction, anti-social lifestyle and attitude, and a sense of entitlement.

He was seen as a high risk reoffender because of his willingness to use violence.

He had been released on parole in April 2016, and had worked as a chef, but gave up the job because he was making so much money selling methamphetamine. He had accepted the firearms as payment for drugs, and he carried the taser at all times “for protection”.

He had been taking methamphetamine at the time of the dairy raid, when he wanted cigarettes but decided not to pay for them. He said he was sorry for the distress he caused the victims.

Judge MacAskill said: “Robberies of shops and dairies are prevalent in the community, often for very little gain for the offenders.”


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