A Lower Hutt robber broke into a home at 2.30am and threatened a couple with their kitchen knives.
Derek Howard, 27, of Lower Hutt had pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated robbery, threatening to kill and kidnapping.
Wellington District Court judge Mike Behrens, QC, jailed him for seven years for those and unrelated charges of possession of cannabis and possession of supply.
He said on June 20 Howard kicked in the door of a Lower Hutt home about 2.30am grabbing two knives from the kitchen before going to the couple's bedroom. The husband woke and found the man standing in the doorway. His wife woke up and screamed.
He demanded their cellphones then put one of the knives to the man's throat and asked for money. After being told there was none in the house he made the man dress and drive him to a nearly money machine.
Howard threatened to return to the house to kill his family if he did not get $1000 out.
When they left the wife called the police who caught him at the scene.
Judge Behrens said Howard had previous conviction for robbery, assault with intent to injure, burglary and theft over several years.
At the time he broke into the couple's home he was on a sentence of supervision but had not yet started any of the programmes designed to help him, the judge said.
The judge imprisoned him for six years for breaking into the couple's home and kidnapping the man then added a year for the cannabis charges. He also gave him a minimum non-period of three years.
Both victims were badly affected, unable to sleep and scared Howard would return, Judge Behrens said.
Howard's lawyer Melanie Baker said he had been very stressed at the time and had turned to alcohol.
She said Howard had made a commitment to himself not to go back to prison and had failed himself and must accept the consequences.
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