A Te Awamutu man faked a talking disability and had a gun down his pants during a robbery at ASB Bank in which he fled with $15,000 cash.

Disguised in a black wig, dark-rimmed glasses and with a BB gun down his pants, Nicholas Ramon Quaife handed over a note to a bank teller threatening her life and the lives of other customers in the branch at The Base shopping centre in Hamilton on March 15.

Quaife today reappeared in the Hamilton District Court through audio visual link where, through his lawyer Kerry Burroughs, he pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated robbery of the bank.

Court documents reveal that Quaife not only made subtle changes to his appearance before the robbery but also his vehicle.


He changed the letters of his vehicle's registration from GEJ511 to GBU571. He then covered identifying stickers on the windscreen, side panel and rear window.

Armed with the BB gun, he arrived at the bank about 12.25pm.

After waiting in line, told the teller he had trouble talking and handed over the note demanding $10,000 cash and indicating he had a firearm and that he would use it.

As the teller gathered the cash, she activated the silent alarm. After putting it in the bag, Quaife then indicated "15" to her several times, so she put $5000 more cash in the bag.

Quaife then fled the bank and went to his home in Te Awamutu. The money was recovered after he handed himself in later that day.

Burroughs said his client was willing to take part in a restorative justice conference with the victim.

Judge Simon Menzies convicted Quaife and also issued a three strikes warning, as the charge is qualifying violence offence.

He remanded Quaife in further custody and for the matter to be referred to restorative justice.


Quaife will be sentenced in June.