No sympathy from teenage robber

A teenager says the shop worker he robbed at the Woolston Night n Day store in Ferry Road “must be used to it” by now.

Nineteen-year-old Dominic Pomama has gone to jail for two years four months after Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar read his “disheartening” pre-sentence report.

Pomama refuses to name the two men who did the robbery with him on March 8 and he says he will “not think twice” about being involved in more activity to get money or drugs.

Pomana admitted the robbery charge in August, after the Crown reduced the charge from armed robbery to carrying out a robbery with other persons. The Crown accepted that it could not prove that he knew one of the other masked offenders was carrying a metal bar.

Pomama, 18 at the time, acted as the decoy who was let into the shop through its security door, controlled from behind the counter. He looked around and left without buying anything. The other two men ran up and came into the shop before the door closed behind him.

The robber armed with a dumbbell bar made the shop worker open the till and they they took $280 and eight packets of cigarettes. Pomama said he received five cigarettes for his role in the robbery.

Defence counsel Bridget Ayrey acknowledged the probation report on Pomama was pessimistic. He had told the probation office he was prepared to serve his time without naming the co-offenders, and accepted responsibility for the offending.

Pomama had his 19th birthday in custody, three days before the sentencing.

Judge Kellar said he understood Pomama not being willing to name the co-offenders but he found the probation report disheartening. “It is what you see happening for the rest of your life that concerns me.”

He had no remorse, and said the victim “must be used to it if he still works there”. The shop has been the victim of several robberies.

“You have not shown any insight into what must have been a very alarming situation for the victim,” said Judge Kellar. Pomama had seen the crime as an opportunity to get money for methamphetamine which was “a terrible drug”.

The probation officer assessed him as a very high risk of causing more harm to others.

Pomama was the oldest of eight children in his family. At the age of 12, local children had introduced him to a lifestyle of substance abuse and offending.

Judge Kellar said he found it depressing to hear that Pomama didn’t mind prison. “I am sure you know lots of people on the inside, and don’t have much support on the outside. At the age of 19, you have lots of potential which you are simply going to waste.”

Screening tests for drugs had indicated the use of methamphetamine, synthetic cannabis, and sedatives, according to the report.

The judge told Pomama: “I am sure you would agree with me that it didn’t make very encouraging reading.”


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