A Whangarei man jailed for eight years for the kidnapping and aggravated robbery of a woman motorist has had his sentenced reduced on appeal.
Richard John Hoko, 53, was jailed for eight years in May after he was convicted by a jury on charges of aggravated robbery and kidnapping. Hoko had held a knife to a woman after he got into her car when she parked it in central Whangarei about 8.30am on August 18, 2014.
Hoko told the woman that he would not hurt her if she did as she was told and then tied her up, found her Eftpos card and demanded she give him the PIN number. He drove to an ATM and used the woman's card to withdraw $120.
Hoko drove the woman back to the Whangarei central business district, cut the straps from her handbag and used them to tie her hand to the gearshift.
He told the woman to wait in her vehicle until he had crossed the road and that if she left earlier he would cut her and if he saw her around town he would run her over.
The effect on the woman of Hoko's offending was traumatic and Judge John McDonald jailed Hoko for eight years, with a minimum non parole period of 60 per cent of that.
The Court of Appeal found the sentence imposed was manifestly excessive.
It allowed Hoko's appeal and substituted the sentence of eight years' imprisonment with one of six years and six months' imprisonment. The minimum period of imprisonment of 60 per cent is to remain in place.
The court said Hoko has a very extensive list of previous convictions, including three for aggravated robbery.
In 1984 Hoko was sentenced to three years and six months' imprisonment for aggravated robbery. Also in 1984 he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for aggravated robbery, concurrently with a sentence of eight years' imprisonment for rape.
In 1991 he was sentenced to seven years and six months' imprisonment for aggravated robbery.
"Mr Hoko's offending in this case appears to have occurred after the break-up of a long-term relationship, resulting in a return to his former pattern of anti-social behaviour," the Court of Appeal judgment said.
"The starting point should have been six years' imprisonment with an uplift of six months, resulting in an end sentence of six years and six months' imprisonment."