The last of four people who tried to rob a Northland dairy whose owner was struck on the head with a tyre iron has also been sentenced to nine months' home detention.

Rihari Thompson, 18, and three others tried to rob the Kingsway Dairy in Hikurangi of cash and cigarettes in July last year but fled after the shop owner chased them.

Jackson Ruwhiu, who struck dairy owner Hemant Sakar Lal over the head with a tyre iron, was sentenced by the Whangarei District Court in November last year to nine months' home detention.

Tamati Hughes also received nine months' home detention in February and getaway driver Eruera Wharerau was last month sentenced by the Matariki Court in Kaikohe to five months' home detention.


Judge Greg Davis said he had imposed a sentence of home detention, which was consistent with sentences handed down to others.

Lal, who earlier described a sentence of home detention for robbery of dairies as a "joke", said there was no point commenting on a system that rewarded thugs.

He spent three days in Whangarei Hospital recovering from injuries he suffered during the robbery.

"I pay my tax, GST, rates, ACC levy, and other charges but those that choose to steal rather than work to feed themselves are paid benefit to continue robbing hardworking citizens.

"I've been to Ngati Hine, to Matariki Court, to the hospital, to ACC, to police, and even went for counselling after the robbery but what did I get in return?"

Judge Davis said although courts must send a clear message people could not go around robbing shopkeepers, they must also strive to achieve consistency while sentencing offenders on similar charges.

"These are not strangers but hardworking citizens of our community who are entitled to live without being robbed by foolish people like you," Judge Davis told Thompson.