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Aggravated robbery jury trial gets underway

Tuesday 15 March 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National

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Aggravated robbery jury trial gets underway
Woo Store where the aggravated robbery took place. AL WILLIAMS/21013103

The jury trial of a man charged with aggravated robbery began in Rarotonga on Monday.

The man appeared in the High Court at Avarua, charged with aggravated robbery which allegedly took place in January last year.

Daniel Mare appeared before Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams in front of a jury of eight women and four men.

The court heard on January 30, 2021 an aggravated robbery took place at the Woo Store in Titikaveka.

In the prosecution’s opening address, Crown lawyer Lisa Williams said four men planned to rob the store.

Three men went into the store, one armed with a machete, and another armed with a baseball bat.

It was important to note that the other three had already been dealt with by the courts, she said.

The court heard they were all drinking at the defendant’s home and that Mare was driving the vehicle.

Mare said he had been drinking, but denied being involved.

It had been accepted by the Crown and defence there had been a robbery.

“He was involved as a getaway driver and he knew what was going to happen,” Williams told the court.

Defence lawyer Keykore Ahsin said a number of people had finished work for the day and wanted to have a drink at the defendant’s home.

More people joined them during the course of the evening.

“It doesn’t mean that he (Mare) was involved in this plan.

“Three people have already been sentenced, they pinned it on my client.

“Another person was the ringleader, he pinned it on my client.”

Ahsin said Mare was asked to be the driver to the “black market” to buy liquor.

The defendant agreed to be the driver, without knowing there was a plan, the lawyer told the court.

The trial is set down for up to three days and is being heard by Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams QC.