Home detention terms for armed robbery

Three men involved in the robbery of the Springston Dairy, stealing tobacco and cigarettes, were sentenced to home detention and emotional harm reparation to the woman working alone in the shop.

Caleb Brandon Akurangi, 20, Matthew Hoffman, 20, and Jackson Keb Aaron Morgan-Te Amo, 19, and Harrison Blackburn, 21, (who has already been sentenced) met during the week and discussed robbing the Springston Dairy.

At 6.30pm on June 30, Hoffman was the lookout, Akurangi the getaway driver, and Morgan-Te Amo and Blackburn entered the dairy heavily disguised.

Blackburn had a small folding knife and approached the counter. The woman working in the shop stepped away from the counter and the two men filled bags with 17 pouches of tobacco worth about $1150.

They then left the shop, and police later recovered all the items.

At Blackburn’s earlier sentencing the court was told he formulated the plan because of financial pressure, and it was his car used in the offending.

Defence counsel for Akurangi, Michael Starling, said he was the last person in the plan, and so was asked to be the driver.

Mr Starling also spoke for Hoffman and said the offending seemed to have been “at the stupid end of the offending scale, not the sharp criminal end”.

Nicola Hansen said Morgan-Te Amo was ashamed of his actions and letting his foster parents down. He apologised to them and to the victim, she said.

Christchurch District Court Judge Tom Gilbert read the first of the three strike warnings to the men.

He said they were all first offenders who knew what was going on. They all had good pre-sentence reports, and good prospects for rehabilitation.

He sentenced Akurangi and Hoffman to eight months’ home detention and emotional harm reparations of $350 each.

Morgan-Te Amo was sentenced to nine months’ home detention and the same emotional harm reparation payment.

Judge Gilbert told the three men that they should be under no illusion that if they did something like this again they would be going straight to prison.

Blackburn’s earlier sentence was 10 months’ home detention.