Jonathan Robert McDonald
From the Evening Post 10th March 2001
The leader of the gang that robbed two Chubb security guards of $940,404 in New Zealand's biggest armed robbery has been jailed for 11 years. Wellington District Court judge Anne Gaskell said yesterday Peter Richard Tyson, 26, unemployed security guard, of Timberlea in Upper Hutt, was the instigator and leader of the group that robbed the guards as they filled a Willis St money machine on December 22.
She also sentenced another man, Wayne Turner, 25, unemployed, to 7 years 6 months jail. Judge Gaskell said the robbery was Tyson's idea - he planned it, gave tasks to the others, co-ordinated their movements, had inside knowledge, abseiled down the wall behind the ATM, had the imitation gun and paid the others. She said she had to reflect his greater role in the robbery. He also helped police recover $676,000 from where it had been hidden.
She said Tyson helped in burning the van and the Kaiwarra magazine building, where the van was hidden, which will cost $330,000 to restore. He was also sentenced for taking part in the theft of $94,000 from the Securitas building vault last year. Judge Gaskell said Turner had helped in planning the Chubb robbery, removed the abseiling gear, acted as lookout and was paid $10,000.
Tyson and Turner both pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and unlawfully taking the van. Tyson has also pleaded guilty to two charges of arson and an unrelated theft. Last week Jonathan McDonald and Quintin O'Brien were each jailed for 7 1/2 years, while John Moeke received eight years. Tyson's lawyer, Bruce Davidson, asked for a significant reduction on Tyson's sentence for helping police and for considering his victims, whom he'd intended to ensure were unharmed.
Turner's lawyer, Val Nisbet, said his client was the last to be caught and had turned himself in to the police. He said Turner had been stupidly flattered by being asked to take part and was too tempted by the $10,000 offered to turn it down. His financial difficulties had caused problems in his relationship with his de facto wife. Crown prosecutor Grant Burston said it was Tyson's idea to rob the van and the others wouldn't have been involved but for him. He said the van arson was planned to destroy forensic evidence. More than $250,000 was not recovered - some of it burnt in the van.
Date of Birth
Armed robbery of two Wellington security guards involving a very substantial sum of money in December 2000
Sentenced to 7 and a half years in March 2001
Reduced to 6 and a half years on appeal
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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