Jail for drug-fuelled offending
A "polite and well-mannered" South Auckland teen with an unblemished record committed two aggravated robberies in four days, driven by his synthetic cannabis addiction.
Sher Sultan Jawan, 18, was jailed today for three and a half years as his family looked on in shock.
His lawyer Bruce Hesketh told the Manukau District Court the offending - committed three weeks before synthetic highs were banned, - was driven by his client's addiction.
"[His family] had no idea how deeply he'd got involved in synthetic cannabis at the time," he said.
"It's an indication of how dangerous this stuff is."
Several references were provided to Judge Patrick Treston, all describing the actions as "out of character" but it was not enough to sway him from a sentence of imprisonment.
On the afternoon of April 14, Jawan and two teenage friends drove to Heaven and Dreams legal high shop in Papatoetoe, the court heard.
While one of the men waited in the car, Jawan ran in and punched the sales person Pawan Achya in the face.
Achya was knocked to the floor and a co-offender filled a bag with synthetic cannabis before the trio sped off.
Only four days later, again in broad daylight, the men decided to rob a dairy.
They drove to Puhinui Superette - only 2 kilometres from the site of the first robbery - and burst in with Jawan's accomplice wielding a rifle.
The flustered owner Guilan Tan handed over $100 as they threatened her with the gun.
Through a victim impact statement she told the court it was the fourth or fifth time the shop had been robbed and the second time she had had a gun pointed at her.
Tan said robbers were getting more brazen and she worried if she was not killed by criminals, the stress of the job would give her "a stroke or heart attack".
Hesketh said Jawan had stolen the gun from his father but it could not have been fired because there was no bolt or ammunition with it.
In an interview, the 18-year-old told authorities he had been "getting high" and drinking heavily during the period of offending, which left him with little control over his actions.
Since pleading guilty, he had attended drug and alcohol counselling sessions and Hesketh said a sentence of home detention was appropriate.
Judge Treston said that might have been the case had there been only one aggravated robbery.
"It's important for the court to hold you accountable for this totally irresponsible and serious offending," he said.
Several family members left the court in tears as Jawan was led away to the cells.