Guilty verdicts for French tourist robber

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Graffiti on the Tauranga Court House. Main Entrance steps BOP 12Jul12 - REHEARING GRANTED: Lisa Edwards leaves Tauranga court following an earlier appearance.BLUNDER: Evidence not record
Graffiti on the Tauranga Court House. Main Entrance steps BOP 12Jul12 - REHEARING GRANTED: Lisa Edwards leaves Tauranga court following an earlier appearance.BLUNDER: Evidence not record

UPDATED: The jury in the trial of the Mount Maunganui man charged with robbing two French hitchhikers in Papamoa last year have returned two guilty verdicts.

Che Teraumate Bridger, 25, from Mount Maunganui defended two counts of aggravated robbery in Tauranga District Court this week.

After 45 minutes of deliberation the jury delivered its verdict of guilty on both counts at 4.15pm today.

Sentencing will be held on January 15, 2014 in Tauranga District Court.

He was remanded in custody.


EARLIER: Jury members in the trial of Mount Maunganui man charged with robbing two French hitchhikers in Papamoa last year have retired to consider their verdicts.

Che Teraumate Bridger, 25, from Mount Maunganui, who is on trial in Tauranga District Court, has denied two counts of aggravated robbery.

The jury retired about 3.30pm.

The Crown alleges that Bridger, together with Bo-Tamati Ramati, 26, robbed two 21-year-old Frenchmen hitchhiking from Tauranga to Rotorua on July 7 last year.

The tourists say they were picked up by two men driving a light-coloured sedan at Te Maunga near Papamoa Domain Rd, who agreed to drive them to Rotorua.

But 10 to 15 minutes into the journey the men demanded money from them, then attacked and robbed them after parking up behind the former Shell service station near Welcome Bay turnoff.

Rawiri, who has admitted his role in the robbery and been sentenced, has given evidence at trial saying that Bridger was the other robber, and was driving his mother's car at the time.

Bridger's lawyer Tony Balme told the jury that Rawiri was lying to protect someone else for unknown reasons, and he had also downplayed his role in the robbery.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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