Car-jackers jailed for assault ordeal

By Sandra Conchie

Two Auckland offenders who assaulted then robbed a man of his car at Tauranga's Kingsview Apartments have been jailed.

Conrad Oscar Rewita, 30, and Teepee Snow Laison, 34, were sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to a joint charge of robbery.

Rewita, jailed for four years six months, was also sentenced on charges of reckless driving causing injury, driving with excess breath alcohol causing injury, failing to stop for police, and breaching his prison release conditions.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years.

Laison's three year jail sentence included time for unrelated charges of shoplifting, theft, driving with an excess breath alcohol, driving while disqualified, a breach of community work and three breaches of supervision.

The robbery occurred in the early hours of May 10 after Rewita and Laison approached three men who were getting into a Toyota Corolla in the carpark on Harrington St.

Rewita punched one man in the head without warning and tried to punch another but the second victim deflected the blow and ran away.

Laison then climbed into the front passenger seat armed with a bottle and repeatedly hit the driver.

Rewita smashed the front window showering the victim with glass, and began punching the driver and yelling at him to get out of the car.

After all three victims fled, Rewita and Laison drove off at high speed in the stolen car with police in pursuit.

Rewita's reckless driving included doing speeds in excess of 80km/h down the wrong side of Cameron Rd before he lost control at the intersection of 9th Ave, and struck a light pole.

Rewita was found to be driving with an excess breath alcohol of 908 microgrammes - which is more than double the adult legal limit.

Laison, who was hospitalised for six days because of injuries suffered in the crash, has been disqualified from driving for two years because of her own driving offences committed in March.

Judge Thomas Ingram said he read the three victim impact statements and it was clear the car-jacking had been a traumatic experience for the three men involved.

The robbery occurred shortly after Rewita's release from prison.

Judge Ingram said he agreed with Rewita's lawyer, Duncan McWilliam, that there was a risk of his client becoming institutionalised, if he was not already, unless he tackled the issues behind his continued re-offending.

"Mr Rewita, you desperately need some kind of rehabilitative interventions as you seem to be quite incapable of coping in the community without it," he said.

Laison also had deep-seated issues which she needed to deal with before the Parole Board would even consider her release from prison, he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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