Pair jailed over theft of pineapple lumps

By Cherie Taylor -
File photo / Doug Sherring
File photo / Doug Sherring

Two youths have been jailed over the theft of a packet of pineapple lumps worth $2.90.

Darcy Te Kiri, 20, and Boudene Gerry Walden, also known as Mahiawere, 21, were both jailed in the Rotorua District Court after pleading guilty to the aggravated robbery of Jeram's Superette in March this year.

The pair, with 17-year-old Mere Ohlson, had gone into the Te Ngae Rd shop, which had been robbed at gun-point only five weeks previously, pretended to have a gun and demanded cigarettes and cash from the owner's son.

Walden had covered his face with a bandanna.

However, the owner refused their request and pushed a panic alarm, alerting a security company of the robbery in progress.

The trio, who managed to steal only the $2.90 packet of pineapple lumps, were tracked by police to a nearby home where one of the group lived.

In sentencing Walden to 20 months' jail for the robbery, Judge James Weir said the incident had left the victims suffering "significant stress".

The dairy owner's son, who was operating the store at the time, had to put his university studies on hold because of the robbery, Judge Weir said.

"They were worried they would be hurt."

The store owner's wife had been shattered by the experience, the judge said.

In her victim impact statement she stated, "We have all been given the gift of life - live life like a human being, not like an animal," Judge Weir read to Walden.

"Your stupid actions have affected these people significantly," he said.

Walden was also sentenced to one month in jail on a charge of injuring with intent, relating to him biting his former partner on the arm during an argument on February 6.

Judge Phillip Cooper sentenced Te Kiri to two years and four months' jail.

The court heard Te Kiri had been released from jail shortly before the March aggravated robbery.

While there was not actual violence or a weapon involved in the incident, the threat of violence was evident to the victims, Judge Cooper said.

A tikanga Maori programme would have helped Te Kiri stay out of trouble on his earlier release from jail but prison was the only option available to the court, the judge said.

"I know from what I see, a lot guys waste their life going in and out of jail," he said.

Ohlson, who also pleaded guilty to her part in the aggravated robbery, is to be sentenced on September 23.

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