A Hawke's Bay dairy robber and two others were sent to jail yesterday for their roles in the knifepoint robbery of Napier's Westshore Corner Store two months ago.

Appearing in Napier District Court yesterday, HMS Apuwai, of Hastings, was told he would serve his full sentence of three years and 11 months without parole, as a second-strike offender under the three-strikes legislation in place since 2010. Otherwise he would have been eligible for release in two years and one month.

Under the law for violent offending, offenders are warned when convicted of a first qualifying offence that a second subsequent for violent offence would mean serving the full sentence without parole, and yesterday Apuwai was warned by Judge Geoff Rea that if he commits another violent offence he will serve the maximum penalty available.

Of his co-offenders in the early-afternoon October 7 robbery, Michael Yardley was sentenced to four years and one month, with a minimum non-parole period of two years and three months, while Yontae McClutchie was sentenced to three years.


Yardley had had what lawyer Eric Forster called "like offending" about 10 years ago, and was thus not affected by the three-strikes legislation, while McClutchie's lawyer, Roger Philip, said it was a step-up from his 20-year-old client's previous minor offending.

McClutchie also claimed that, unlike, Apuwai and Yardley, he did not brandish a knife during the raid.

Getaway driver Sharna Harmony Mihaka, 19 at the time and who had no previous convictions, was remanded on continued bail for sentence on January 20.

Defence counsel Nicola Graham said Mihaka denied Crown claims she was "scoping" the shop when she made a purchase shortly beforehand, and only learned of her associates' robbery plans after she left the store.

But she then waited outside in the vehicle while the three men robbed the sole attendant in the shop of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and cash, with a total value of about $3500.

The robbers left in a blue station wagon which was stopped soon afterwards by police on the Hawke's Bay Expressway.

Judge Rea used a "starting point" of five years jail before calculating each sentence, giving credit for the robbers' early guilty pleas which meant there was no need for a trial.