Former prisoner admits theft, assault

Last updated 12:41 20/02/2014

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Wellington

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A recently released prisoner desperate for money has admitted trying to bag some cash at a local supermarket.

Leon Michael Sheeran, 35, pleaded guilty to taking a car, stealing $195 from New World Newtown, and aggravated assault of the 19-year-old grocery assistant who stopped his getaway.

Sheeran had originally been charged with aggravated robbery but today in Wellington District Court the Crown had the charge changed to theft, and added the assault charge.

Crown prosecutor Will Taffs said Sheeran used a screwdriver to get into a 1994 Mazda in Hanson St and also started it with the screwdriver. It was about 9am on November 23, a Saturday, and Sheeran left the car running on the supermarket rooftop carpark while he walked down to the supermarket.

On a previous visit he had noticed the cubby holes where cash boxes were stored. He waited until no-one was in the area and forced one open, taking a box with $195.

When he tried to open a second one he was noticed and ran up to the carpark.

A supermarket worker caught up with Sheeran and grabbed him as he tried to get into the car. Sheeran was holding a screwdriver as the pair struggled but more people arrived and he was overpowered.

Mr Taffs said Sheeran told police that he had recently been released from prison and was desperate for money.

Sheeran is due to be sentenced next month and is in custody in the meantime.

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- The Dominion Post

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