15yo pleads guilty to armed robbery

Monday May 11, 2020 Written by Published in Crime
Tex Mart, Nikao. Tex Mart, Nikao.

A shopkeeper who was the victim in an armed robbery last month is still traumatised and undergoing counselling. 


A 15-year-old boy has admitted taking part in the armed robbery of a Tex Mart store last month.

The teenager, and two of his co-offenders, have been granted interim name suppression.

Three men and the boy are charged with aggravated robbery. Two of the group are alleged to have taken cigarettes and money from the till when they entered the Tex Mart Store in Nikao at around 3pm on April 20.

They are alleged to have held a machete to a shopkeeper’s throat in the armed robbery and police said the victim is traumatised and is undergoing counselling.

The other two offenders were waiting outside on their motorbikes, it is alleged.

The 15-year old and his co-offender are both represented by defence counsel Norman George who told the court that they would not be contesting the charges, and are pleading guilty.

George said they would be expecting a delay in sentencing from the judge and requested bail for his clients.

“I do not oppose police conditions on bail, there are some conditions requested by the parents, grandparents, like curfew,” he said.

George said families were still in shock, as it was not in the character of the young men to commit such crimes as they were drunk.

The two were granted bail with the conditions of not being able to consume or purchase alcohol, not to enter any liquor license premises and not interfere with the other offenders, the victim and not to go to Tex Mart, Nikao.

Both have curfew between 7pm-7am and are ordered to reside with their parents/grandparents.

Call over on the matter is adjourned to July to confirm a sentencing date before a Judge.

Lawyer Mark Short, who represented another of the four defendants, also requested bail.

He argued that his client’s participation in the offence was minimal and he had already apologised to the store owner.

Short said with agreement with the store owner, his client will be doing some voluntary work at the store.

JP Carmen Temata granted bail on the conditions, also not to consume or purchase alcohol, not enter any liquor licence premises, not to associate with the co-offender and to reside with his parents.

Teatuaveroa Tuakanangaro, was the only one not granted name suppression because of his previous records before the court.

Tuakanangaro was represented by defence counsel Andrew Ahsin.

Ahsin said he had not received any instructions from his client, but requested bail with the discretion of the court.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo opposed bail on the grounds that Tuakanangaro was a recidivist offender “who had complete disregard and disrespect for the court and the law of the nation”.

He said Tuakanangaro could be facing 14 years imprisonment for the current charge.

Tararo also said the accused was already facing two other charges and one was to be before the Judge.

His case has been adjourned to May 28.

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