Held against their will by a man holding a makeshift knife in his home, one of three female tourists was so frightened she jumped out a two-storey window.
The other two victims of Sherb Junior Tamati decided they had no choice but to take the recidivist robber on to try free themselves, eventually escaping out of a window and over a roof.
Tamati, 32, was sentenced to three years and nine months' jail - with a minimum non-parole period of 50 per cent - when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court this afternoon on charges of kidnapping and assault with intent to injure.
In order to get the three tourists into his house, Tamati had posed as a Taumarunui cafe manager on Facebook, promising jobs and board.
However, instead of a chance to experience the hospitality sector, the girls were locked in the house and subjected to Tamati's demands for cash.
Crown prosecutor Shelley Gilbert classified the level of pre-meditation as high given he had created a fake Facebook account and then proceeded to prey on vulnerable tourists using a weapon he created and then hid behind his TV.
After showing the victims around the house he pulled out the makeshift knife once in the lounge - with the victims describing the weapon as being like a "spear".
"Once he had three victims the defendant confronted them with a large kitchen knife which was taped onto a steel pole."
The girls tried to escape out the front door but then discovered the door padlocked behind.
"Fearing they had nothing to lose two of them took on the defendant while another one jumped out of the second storey window."
The girls wrestled and kicked and bit Tamati in an effort to get the weapon off him. They were eventually successful after getting him on the ground.
"Al of this took considerable forethought, this was a-well-thought-out plan."
She said the weapon was even more dangerous, almost a bayonet, as it enabled him to get some distance from the blade.
Gilbert said the victims "did truly fear for their lives".
"They didn't know what was going to ensue. One was scared enough to jump out a second storey window."
She said Tamati had 33 previous convictions and served 10 previous jail terms.
He was subject to release conditions at the time for the same charge of assault with intent to rob, and he had been convicted of other violence offending since his release from prison.
Tamati's lawyer Tom Sutcliffe said the offending was money driven and there were no threats made as to harm.
Judge Simon Menzies said when Tamati was on the ground being attacked by the victims he told them he didn't want to hurt them and was only after money.
He said the trio had been travelling New Zealand for a few months, picking up work where they could.
Their trio however ended up being scarred by the events.
"Not surprisingly all three were extremely disturbed by what had happened. They were terrified throughout. The consequence was that their time in New Zealand was blighted for them.
"Now their only association with their holiday is this event."
The judge said all three had found it hard to trust people in New Zealand since the incident.
He said the women responded in the only way they felt they could at the time - attacking and jumping out the window.