Teen robber had $2000-a-day meth habit

An 18-year-old had a $2000-a-day meth habit when he did the armed robbery that has put him in jail for three years eight months, the Christchurch District Court was told.

Michael Murray’s jail term was reduced because of his age and his guilty plea, at his sentencing by Judge David Saunders.

His defence counsel, Allister Davis, said Murray had “engaged fully” with the youth programme at preison during his time in custody on remand.

He said: “He has done a number of courses and is looking forward to a bright future. This incarceration is probably a turning point in his life.”

Murray had pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery, three of fraudulently using an eft-pos card, and one of receiving a stolen credit card.

Last year, Murray and another alleged offender, met the robbery victim when he came to an address in Peverel Street, Riccarton. They had already discussed taking his money or property.

When the man arrived, the other alleged offender reached into his pocket and took his eft-pos card.

Murray gave the other man a butcher’s knife and he made threats to get the PIN number.

The robbery victim refused to give his PIN number until Murray put the muzzle of an air rifle in his mouth.

The card was then used to get $45.50 in three transactions.

Murray also admitted receiving a credit card that had been stolen from a mailbox. After the theft, $1600 in transactions were made on it.

Judge David Saunders said the robbery occurred when Murray was 18 and under the influence of a significant P addiction. He was consuming 2g of meth a day – a habit that was costing him $2000 a day.

He told Murray: “The risk around use of methamphetamine are well known to many people now, and you should have been significantly aware of it at the time, given the lifestyle you were leading.”

He jailed Murray for three years eight months and ordered him to pay $45 back to the robbery victim after his release.

“If you are remorseful for the offence, you will ensure that is one of your early priorities when you are released,” said the judge.

He noted that Murray had put his time in custody to good use.

He will now have to appear before the Parole Board when his release is considered.

“The board will want to be sure you have conquered your drug addiction because of the consequences of that addiction on this occasion,” he said.

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