No hug for 'street thug'

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 06:00 27/10/2012

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As a Palmerston North teenager began a jail term for aggravated robbery, his mother wanted to say goodbye.

‘‘Can I have a cuddle first, boss?’’ Valley Shaun Harrison’s mum asked Judge Gerard Lynch.

Her plea was in vain and Harrison was led into custody to begin his two year, three month jail term.

‘‘See you whanau, thank you for coming,’’ he said on the way out of the Palmerston North District Court yesterday.

He was convicted on two charges of aggravated robbery for ‘‘street thuggery’’ outside the Highbury Shopping Centre on August 7 and September 6, as well as charges of theft of a motor vehicle, unlawfully getting on a scooter, youth drink-driving, driving while forbidden and male assaults female.

When speaking to a pre-sentence report writer Harrison admitted his offending came about as he tried ‘‘making a name for himself.’’

He also said he ‘‘felt bad for his victims and wanted to say sorry’’.

Harrison’s partner said she was trying to show him how to live a different lifestyle.

‘‘You have not had the easiest starts in life but there are a lot of people around who have had a similar upbringing and have not resorted to crimes as you have,’’ Judge Lynch told Harrison.

His first aggravated robbery involved an attack on a man who was punched to the ground. Items were taken from his pockets.

Harrison accused the victim in the second attack of wearing his jacket. Harrison and his friends pushed the man to the ground and took his backpack.

Harrison was disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay about $1800 reparation.

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- Manawatu Standard

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