A 17-year-old who tried to rob a Flaxmere dairy with two mates has been sentenced to six months' community work and one year of intensive supervision.
Hastings teenager Mana Huriwai was one of three young offenders who armed themselves with weapons - Huriwai a wooden bat and his associates long knives - to rob the Swansea Island Food Mart on November 6 last year.
They were unsuccessful in their attempt as dairy owner Rakesh Kumar and his family rushed at the trio when they entered the store, scaring them off.
Huriwai was charged alongside 17-year-old Maui Maaka and a 14-year-old, who cannot be named, who appeared in the Youth Court.
Yesterday he appeared in the Napier District Court after pleading guilty to the attempted aggravated robbery in January.
Maaka also pleaded guilty in January and will be sentenced on April 20.
In his submissions defence lawyer Matthew Dixon said the pre-sentence report spoke positively of Huriwai's employment prospects, his client having undertaken a job at a local packhouse.
While it didn't take away from what was an "extremely serious and frightening" experience for the dairy owner the 17-year-old was genuinely remorseful, Mr Dixon said.
During her sentencing Judge Bridget Mackintosh accepted Huriwai was remorseful but added the experience had been very stressful for Mr Kumar and his family.
"Thankfully for the food mart owner there was no financial loss to him but I have read his report and essentially they feel at a loss about what they are supposed to do about people coming and taking things from their shop. It's very upsetting for them."
In January Mr Kumar told Hawke's Bay Today it was time the Government addressed growing safety issues faced by dairy owners in the region.
"They're bashing the shopkeepers. What have they [the shopkeepers] ever done? We are working long hours, 50 or 60 hours a week, contributing to the community.
"At the end of the day we are just a joke. We as citizens here, who work in this country, are just a joke. Somebody can come and bash us and go away. What rights do we have?"
Yesterday the court heard Huriwai was enjoying his job and hoped to go to EIT to study carpentry which were "worthy goals", Judge Mackintosh said.
She said she was "reluctant" to make any decision that would affect the defendant's employment and sentenced him to six months' community detention and one year of intensive supervision, with a daily curfew of 7pm to 4.30am.
Speaking after the sentencing Mr Kumar said Huriwai was lucky to be given a second chance and hoped he would be taught good values.
"It is good if they come out and learn something. They just take it as a joke. The main thing is people aren't teaching them good values."