A Rotorua man who was part of an armed hold up at Lynmore BP will spend three years and nine months in jail.

Members of Remo Tauwari Waikato's whānau and BP staff were in the Rotorua District Court this afternoon for his sentencing.

A police summary of facts said Waikato and another man concocted the robbery plan while drinking at a Rotorua backpackers where they lived.

At 2am on December 10 last year Waikato entered the Lynmore BP on Te Ngae Rd with the co-offender, the "main aggressor", who was armed with a rifle that had a bolt action with a suppressor.

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Police at the scene of the aggravated robbery at the Lynmore Junction BP service station on Te Ngae Rd, December 2018. Photo / File
Police at the scene of the aggravated robbery at the Lynmore Junction BP service station on Te Ngae Rd, December 2018. Photo / File

The firearm was pointed at a staff member behind the counter as cash and 50g of tobacco was demanded.

Waikato put a backpack on the counter and one of the two staff members emptied $122.40 from two tills and 46 packets of 30g and 50g tobacco valued at $2824.10, into the bag.

Waikato tried to calm them by telling them he and his co-offender were "not robbing them, they were robbing the Government".

They then ran back to their car and drove away.

Waikato later told police he was "hanging with the wrong crowd".

He said he got 20 packets of tobacco and $20 cash for his part in the robbery.

The summary of facts described him as being "extremely remorseful" for his actions.

Defence counsel Andrew Schulze argued that leading up to the crime, Waikato had been living on $90 a week.

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Rotorua District Court. Photo / File
Rotorua District Court. Photo / File

Crown prosecutor Charlie Harvey read a victim impact statement from one of the two staff, who had to take two days off work after the ordeal.

His family had been upset and told him to quit his job, and the staff member had been to see a counsellor since.

"When I first saw the gun I wondered if it was real or not, at that point I didn't have time to find out," he said.

He tried not to make eye contact or resist, and kept calm and polite as he was trained to do.

The staff member said he had witnessed crimes "much worse" in his home country, before coming to New Zealand.

"I am disappointed in what the offenders did because I know New Zealand as a peaceful country."

Judge Phillip Cooper said the staff were "pretty stoic" despite the "very menacing threat".

"I can see that you've made bad life choices," he told Waikato as he read the sentence.

Waikato blew kisses to his family as he left the stand.