A woman who unsuccessfully denied robbing and kidnapping an 87-year-old man in Hastings in July 2018 admitted robbing an elderly couple in Christchurch just two weeks later.
Using a rare decision to use such "similar fact evidence", the similarities of offending by 40-year-old Maera Elizabeth Todd were revealed in Napier District Court today.
Two hours later, while being told it was just one part of the prosecution case, the jury found Todd guilty on charges that with a person unknown she had kidnapped and robbed Havelock North man David Geor who had had $1800 stolen from his bank account moments soon after he finished his Saturday-afternoon shopping at Countdown Hastings on July 28, 2018.
Todd was also found guilty on a charge of stealing about $95 worth of goods from The Warehouse Hastings earlier on the day of the robbery, and was remanded for sentencing in the court on March 3.
She is already serving a sentence of 7 years 8 months for the home-invasion aggravated robbery of an elderly Christchurch couple on August 13, 2018.
In the Hastings attack the victim was confronted as he put his shopping into his car in the supermarket carpark. He was forced headfirst into the rear footwell and held down and threatened while the car was driven away.
He was forced to hand over his wallet and PIN, enabling Todd to use the card before the car with Mr Geor still upended in the back were abandoned a short distance from where it had been taken.
He extricated himself and, suffering some bruising and cuts, raised the alarm at a nearby store, leading to police inquiries revealing Todd at The Warehouse and a woman dressed similarly at an ATM using the victim's card.
During the short trial, defence counsel Eric Forster conceded Todd had lied to police when she was eventually found, and when she claimed she had been at Te Hauke Marae at the time of the offence and obtained the car from another person.
But he told the jury that there was simply not enough evidence to convict Todd.
He reminded them that Geor's description of his assailants did not match Todd's appearance, and that he failed to pick her out from a photograph montage, Stuff reported.
It was conceded that the time between when Mr Geor used his card at the supermarket and when it was illegally used at an ATM was too short a time for Todd's claim to be credible, but Judge Bridget Mackintosh warned the jury that because an accused had lied did not mean they had committed the offence on which they were charged.
Hastings woman Kahurangi Pekehau Waerea, who was originally charged with the offences, pleaded guilty to a charge of being an accessory and in August was sentenced to 18 months' jail. It's alleged another person, thought to be a man, was involved in the kidnapping.