Background from THE PRESS March 2004
Two teenage robbers are behind bars after targeting innocent pedestrians walking alone late at night.
Passing sentences of two years jail each on Jerome Warren, 19, and Teatawai Meechang, 18, in Christchurch District Court yesterday, Judge Gary MacAskill said the pair had clearly picked on vulnerable people. Both men admitted charges of aggravated robbery, Meechang a charge of theft, and Warren demanding with menaces. The judge said the attacks were not spontaneous, but a continuous course of conduct.
"The Crown has aptly described it as a spree."
The pair had begun by threatening a couple walking in Christchurch about 2am last October, leaving them frightened. Later they chased a man, punching him and taking a bag with $720 worth of property.
At 5.20am they saw a man walking home alone. Meechang and another man got out of their car and threatened him with weapons, taking cash and property. The victim was told to run and not look back. Prosecutor Pip Currie said it appeared the pair had been "on a roll", targeting one victim after another.
Defence lawyer Stephen Hembrow told the court a probation report on Meechang said his offending appeared to be the effect of heavy drinking.
For Warren, counsel Jeanette Aickin said it seemed a group of young men got together and, as often happened in the circumstances, things got out of control. Both counsel said their clients had been frank with police and asked for a deferral of sentence to allow time for applications for home detention to be heard.
The judge said he would grant leave to apply for home detention, but deferral was out of the question because of the need for deterrence. Both men were ordered to take rehabilitative programmes as directed by probation and to pay $360 reparation each.
Date of Birth
Numerous unprovoked robberies in Christchurch in late 2003
Sentenced to two years in March 2004.
Released March 2005
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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