Jayant George Singh
Promising racing car driver Jayant Singh's career is in tatters after his jailing for 6½ years for two aggravated robberies he committed to finance his motoring obsession.
Singh, 29, of Ngaio, Wellington, had pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated robbery and one of aggravated burglary that netted him $190,000 from security guards servicing automatic teller machines around the city.
Singh, a science graduate, became obsessed with motor racing, buying a $141,000 car from Toyota that he could not afford. Now he is studying for a masters degree from a prison cell.
Wellington District Court judge Denys Barry jailed him yesterday and ordered him to serve a minimum non-parole period of three years.
Though $66,000 of the stolen money had been recovered from Singh's home, Judge Barry ordered that any money from the sale of the car be paid in reparation.
The car was repossessed by Toyota and had probably significantly depreciated.
Singh robbed security guards at the Left Bank in Cuba Mall, Wellington, on August 25, 2006, and at the National Bank machines in Victoria St on December 1.
He was also linked by dna evidence to an attempted robbery at a Willis St cash machine in 2003.
One of the guards had been a victim in both robberies. Singh had taken a knife and what appeared to be a sawn-off rifle, forcing the guards to put cash from canisters into a bag, and in the second robbery, put the canisters into a car he used to get away.
Judge Barry said that, though Singh had previously lived a good life, a high-cost career in motorsport had seen his involvement escalate to obsession. Singh had been a talented person who had gone off the rails, he said.
There had been a big fallout for the security company and its staff, who suffered because they thought they were being targeted.
Singh's lawyer, Brett Crowley, said his client was naive about the legal process.
He had been doing his best to work hard and had a goal in mind, a terrifically expensive goal, and he "lost his moral compass".
"He was a beginner," and it showed in his lack of preparation, Mr Crowley said.
He had the potential to make something of his life on leaving prison.
Date of Birth
14 February 1979
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 6 year 6 months with only a 3 year non parole period in September 2008
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Crime crashes promising career
Robber 'lost his moral compass'
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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