A woman who robbed the Windsor Park Store in March has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Sehelasa Valenitaine Moala appeared before Judge Bridget Mackintosh for sentencing in the Napier District Court yesterday.

The 31-year-old was one of two females who robbed the Hastings dairy, located on the corner of Windsor Ave and Louie St, on March 11 this year.

She was charged with aggravated robbery, as well as four counts of shoplifting and one each of theft and using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage.


Moala and her co-offender, who was noted as "unidentified" in court, demanded cash and cigarettes from the shop keeper and, when he told them he couldn't open the till, her co-offender repeatedly smashed it with a chain measuring half a metre.

The shopkeeper ran out of the store, fearing for his safety, and approximately $4500 worth of cigarettes were stolen and $3800 worth of damage done.

Judge Mackintosh said Moala's partner had bragged about her previous offending after she moved to Hastings from Gisborne and this was the "genesis" of the aggravated robbery.

She was the mother of three children and had "spiralled out of control" after a break-up before she formed a new relationship with someone who supported her offending, the judge said.

Other offences included snatching various amounts of cash and cigarettes from dairies and stealing a wallet from a woman after following her into a post shop.

The court heard a pre-sentence report noted Moala's offending was driven to sustain an addiction to synthetic cannabis.

"It appears - it's obvious - synthetic cannabis has had a serious part to play in the spiralling out of control of your behaviour."

The Judge said Moala had told police she wasn't aware of the chain until the offenders were in the shop, but added that it was nevertheless used to frighten the shopkeeper and achieve the robbery.

Defence lawyer Alan Cressey began his submissions by saying the defence and Crown's starting points were not far apart; both opting for four years' imprisonment.

A starting point of four years' imprisonment was given, the aggravated robbery being the lead charge, with an uplift of one year for the other offending.

After discounts, Judge Mackintosh passed a sentence of two years and eight months' imprisonment and ordered Moala pay reparation costs of $284.70 and $432.