A man serving at a Hastings bottle store soon after arriving in New Zealand was stabbed six times with a kitchen knife despite offering the robber anything he wanted.

The 21-year-old told the teenaged robber: "Don't hurt me. I'll give you whatever you want."

That was the chilling detail that was revealed in Napier District Court today at the sentencing of 18-year-old Osman Franks Keenan.

Kennan, who had no previous convictions, was sentenced to six years' jail for intentionally causing grievous bodily harm to Jaspreet Singh and robbing him at the Big Barrel Stortford Lodge bottle store on the night of September 3.

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Judge Geoff Rea said the victim would almost certainly have died had it not been for members of the public who rushed to his aid and the skill of a surgeon at Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Keenan was the eldest of four young people who carried out the robbery, including 17-year-old Cross-Jackson Antonio Shaw, who was wielding an iron bar and was today sentenced to four years for aggravated robbery.

He was told he was lucky he wasn't charged with being a party to the near-fatal assault.

The two others, a girl aged 15 and a 12-year-old boy, who had a wheel brace in the robbery, appear in the Hastings Youth Court next week, having both "not denied" their roles in the robbery.

The group had planned the robbery, Shaw putting stolen registration plates on the vehicle into which they loaded boxes of stolen liquor as the wounded man struggled inside.

The group left the scene, changed the plates, and went to an address where some of the liquor was consumed over the next two days.

Inside the store, Keenan went straight to the counter and confronted the attendant who was counting money, and became immediately compliant with the demands.

But Keenan pulled the attendant to the floor, ripped-off his turban and kicked him three times in the head, before stabbing him in the stomach and then five times around the neck.

He grabbed the cash, liquor and other items before fleeing the store, also carrying the turban.

Meanwhile Shaw was grabbing boxes from elsewhere in the store and taking them to the vehicle outside, returning and continuing the thefts after the stabbing.

When apprehended, Keenan said he carried out the stabbing to let off steam after a domestic with his "mum," later identified as his the mum of his new girlfriend.

His birth mum, and her mum, were in court, both described by the Judge as good supporting people who had done much to help the boy as he struggled with problems of his early life and a range of medical conditions.

The boy's mum outside told how he had, while being born in Hastings, been raised mainly around Mangakino and Matamata, trying to avoid the negative influences of urban life.

More than $2000 worth of cash, liquor and cigarettes were taken in the robbery.

Big Barrell Group owner-operator and managing director Palwinder Singh said his worker took about eight to 10 weeks off following the incident, but is now back at work.
"He's doing really well and he has taken a positive approach towards his life. Everybody provided support for him and that helped to lift his moral and confidence and I think it has paid dividends."

He thanked police and the judicial system for providing "justice".

"It is a punishment that should send a strong message to the community that such cowardly acts are not acceptable and if somebody commits them, then there will be some severe penalty and punishment."

He said it was the reality all people in retail faced. "We take it on the chin, hope for the best."

"It is one of those incidents that nobody wants to occur in their lives and having been through it, we were all shocked, but talking too much about it over and over again I don't think that will help him [victim]."