Armed robber jailed for six years

By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times

Rastaman Rapatini. Photo / APN
Rastaman Rapatini. Photo / APN

One of three men who attempted to hold up the Katikati Park Rd Dairy and Waihi Mobil Service Station last June with a pistol and hammer has been jailed for six years four months.

Rastaman Rapatini, 20, from Te Aroha, who earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with intent to rob, and two further unrelated charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and receiving a motor vehicle, was sentenced by Judge Robert Wolff in Tauranga District Court today.

The charges relate to him and his associates attempting to rob the petrol station and dairy within half an hour of each other on June 18 last year armed with a pistol and a clawhammer, and another unknown weapon, while wearing masks.

During the Mobil Service Station attempted robbery no cash was taken because there was none on the premises at the time, and after the sole female attendant was not able to open the cigarette cabinet she was kicked in the stomach before Rapatini and his group fled.

In relation to the Katikati dairy armed robbery again the store attendant was alone but he managed to locked himself in the accommodation area of the property, so nothing was taken.

Judge Wolff, who sentenced Rapatini to six years' prison for the two robbery attempts and four months for the other two charges, urged him not to associate with gangs while in prison.

"Your future is going to be determined by the people you chose to associate with. It's going to be real tempting to align yourself with particular groups while in prison, and if you do you will tilt your life for the rest of your life. I urge you to resist that temptation to have any prospects of turning you life around. Your future will be shaped by the decisions you make from here on,'' the judge said.

Two other men charged with Rapatini are heading to trial.

- APNZ

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