New lawyer for accused man

A Palmerston North man facing charges in relation to three Countdown supermarkets targeted by armed intruders during the holiday period has a new lawyer.

Jason Graham Hooper, 22, appeared briefly in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday where lawyer Jacinda Younger successfully sought leave from Judge Les Atkins to no longer represent Hooper.

Fellow lawyer Mark Alderdice instead appeared on instructions from Hooper's new representative, Val Nisbet of Wellington, and asked for the matter to be remanded for two weeks to enable Mr Nisbet to view police files. Hooper faces two charges of aggravated robbery and is accused of involvement in the armed robberies of the Broadway Ave Countdown in Palmerston North on December 23 and the Feilding store on December 27.

He is also charged with assault with intent to rob after he allegedly entered the Kelvin Grove Countdown in Palmerston North on December 23.

Hooper, who was freed on electronically monitored bail earlier this month, entered no pleas.

He will be back in court early next month.

Hooper's co-accused, Rodriga Magele, 18, of Mangere, has admitted the same three charges and will be sentenced in May.

Manawatu Standard