Robber had 40 previous jail sentences

Last updated 11:30 06/02/2013

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A former Blenheim man, described by a judge as a recidivist thief and fraudster, has been jailed for more than two years for robbing two tourists in Blenheim last year.

Jamie Ngatata Love, 36, of Christchurch, was found guilty by a jury last year of robbing the Canadian and American tourists of $300.

In the Blenheim District Court yesterday Love was sentenced to two years and four months in prison and ordered to pay the couple $300 reparation.

Judge Denys Barry said Love had a long history of criminal offending amassing more than 100 convictions and 40 sentences of imprisonment between 1994 and the robbery on January 2 last year.

In last year's robbery Love struck up a conversation with the Canterbury University students at The Warehouse in Blenheim, while they were picking up supplies for a camping holiday, he said. Love asked the pair for a ride home and directed them to a street near Dillons Point Rd, where he got out of the car and then leaned back in and demanded they hand over their money, he said.

Defence lawyer Bryony Millar said Love suffered from mental illness and had been doing well until he stopped taking his medication. However, Judge Barry said there was no evidence Love had been unwell at the time of the incident, which was planned and fitted his pattern of offending.

Also in court yesterday:

Daniel Jade Cook, 31, unemployed of Blenheim, was sentenced to intensive supervision for one year and six months and to six months' community detention all to be served at Moana House a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Dunedin. He was also ordered to pay $130 in reparation after earlier admitting two charges of unlawfully taking cars and a charge of stealing a bicycle.

Judge Barry said Cook had a long criminal history majoring in dishonesty encouraged by his drug and alcohol dependence and was on release conditions from a prison sentence when he took the bicycle in November 9 and then went joy riding in the cars on November 22, crashing one. Probation had recommended sending Cook to prison, but during his almost three months in prison awaiting sentence he had dried out from drugs and alcohol and shown motivation to get help, leading them to change their recommendation, he said.

Daniel Wayne Gale, 41, of Waikawa, admitted driving with excess breath alcohol of 744mcg, his second drink driving offence, and was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for eight months. His car was also confiscated.

Helen Jayne Crofskey, 38, a driver, of Picton, admitted possession of prescription drugs, possession of drug utensils and possession of a knife and was fined $350. Police prosecutor Sergeant Graham Single said Crofskey was visiting her partner in Christchurch men's prison when Corrections staff searched her car and found syringes, a butane bottle, blow torch and spoons along with some prescription drugs. She told police the syringes were used to feed rabbits and the drugs had been left in her jacket by a friend, he said.

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Hemi Paki Pope, 30, of Havelock, admitted shoplifting a gas cylinder from Mitre 10 Mega Nelson on March 7 2012 and was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon in the next six months.

Tamati Brian Chapman, 20, of Islington, admitted possession of cannabis and was fined $100. Mr Single said Chapman confessed to smoking the cannabis while police were speaking to him about another matter on December 1.

Angus Hendrix Ngarangione, 22, unemployed, of Mayfield, admitted possession of cannabis and was remanded for sentencing on March 18. Shian Joseph King, 20, a labourer, of Blenheim, admitted a breach of the liquor ban and was fined $100.

- The Marlborough Express

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