Machete robber gets lengthy jail sentence

By Court Reporter

Mossimo Pekamu, the machete-wielding robber of a Raetihi takeaway bar, has been sent to prison for one year and 10 months.

Pekamu was sentenced in the Wanganui District Court yesterday afternoon by Judge Mike Behrens, QC, on charges of aggravated robbery and threatening to kill.

The court heard how Pekamu went to the takeaway bar in Raetihi about 1am on August 18 last year and demanded food. The shop had closed at 9pm.

A man who was still working in the kitchen out the back thought someone was trying to break in.

He couldn't understand much of what Pekamu said, but he tried to explain that the shop was closed.

About 6pm, Pekamu returned. He had been drinking all day and was angry about not being given food the night before.

The 18-year-old produced a large machete, which he had hidden under his clothing, and started waving it around while demanding free food.

A customer and the shop's owner managed to flee, but the man Pekamu had previously approached was cornered and feared for his safety.

Pekamu helped himself to a pie, some chips and lollies, but not before turning his machete on a cooking vat, extractor fan and kitchen door.

He was arrested by police as he walked out of the shop.

Pekamu's lawyer, Stephen Ross, said his client had starting drinking and taking drugs at 14.

When Pekamu was intoxicated, he lost the ability to think and act rationally, Mr Ross said.

Pekamu had always lived in the Ohakune and Raetihi areas, except for a year in Auckland, and had been doing so virtually independently since turning 16.

In a victim impact statement, the shop's owner, Mary, said Pekamu had been a frequent customer of the takeaway bar and had never previously been any trouble. She described the incident as a nightmare, adding that she had never seen Pekamu like that before.

Judge Behrens told Pekamu before he was led away that he must do something about his use of alcohol and violence, otherwise he would end up in the same place.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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