Attacked over non-existent Lotto prize

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 19/07/2014

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A man attacked two female staff at a New Plymouth Lotto shop believing he was owed $1m prize money.

A man passing by saw the confrontation, from outside the shop, and rushed to the women's assistance, the New Plymouth District Court heard.

But Benjamin Stubbing, 47, was wrong - he was not owed the money, the police said.

It was 10.30am on Saturday June 28 when Stubbing went into Paper Plus on Devon St East.

At the Lotto counter he complained about a $1m prize he believed he won four years ago but hadn't been paid out for.

However the prize did not exist, the police summary said.

After being told to fill out an incident report in the store Stubbing became agitated and shouted at the staff member, demanding she contact Lotto on the phone.

He walked behind the service counter and hit her twice across the head causing her to fall to the ground.

A second female shop assistant came to the woman's assistance, standing between her and Stubbing, telling him to back off. Stubbing hit his second victim across the head with an open hand.

A third person, a male, came into the store after hearing the commotion from outside and restrained the defendant up against the shelving partition.

He was also hit on the chin by Stubbing.

When police arrived, Stubbing told them he just wanted his Lotto tickets to be paid out.

His lawyer Kylie Pascoe said Stubbing's psychiatric report showed he understood the three assault charges.

He had made a full admission to her and understood what he did was wrong.

Stubbing genuinely held the view that Lotto owed him money, she said.

Judge Allan Roberts said community work was not a suitable sentence for Stubbing.

He released Stubbing on a 12-month good behaviour bond but warned him he was not to treat the sentence as a licence to offend.

He would be resentenced to a more serious penalty if he did not behave.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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