Hawera woman on trial for 'car-jacking'

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 23/05/2013

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Crime

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A Hawera woman grabbed another woman around the throat in an alleged car-jacking in a New Plymouth city street last year, a jury was told yesterday.

Shannon Reenay Thompson, 32, denies the aggravated robbery in Vivian St about 1pm on May 10 last year.

The Crown alleges Thompson and Joel Jonothan Broughton, 34, unemployed, acted jointly to rob Cassandra Denholm-Osbourne of a 1992 BMW sedan.

Thompson later told police that the car was registered in her name, fines were being accrued against her name, and that she was entitled to take the car.

Before his trial in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, Broughton pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and his 15th driving while disqualified or suspended charge.

Judge Allan Roberts sentenced Broughton to 18 months' jail and handed down a first-strike warning.

In opening Thompson's trial, Crown prosecutor Sarah Law said Thompson and Broughton first confronted Ms Osbourne outside a video shop, then later in Vivian St.

Thompson got out of her car, grabbing Ms Osbourne and forcing her out of the car on to the footpath. Thompson had her hand around Ms Osbourne's neck and demanded the BMW's keys and her wallet, Ms Law said.

Broughton then took the BMW keys from Ms Osbourne, removed all the two women's gear from the BMW and drove off in it.

The BMW was later found at Thompson's home.

Thompson's lawyer Kelly Marriner asked the jury to keep at the top of their minds whether Thompson had a genuine belief she was legally entitled to take the motor vehicle.

Ms Osbourne said her partner bought the BMW from a Wayne Rimene for $750, spending money to make it road legal.

She phoned the police station to ask if it was either stolen or wanted. She was told it was not and that the registered owner was a female in Hawera. They did not change the registration.

Ms Osbourne said that during the confrontation Thompson accused her of racking up $5000 in fines in her name and said she wanted the car and the fines paid.

Thompson said to her she would be going to jail in two weeks because of the fines, which she couldn't afford because she had six children to take care of.

The trial is expected to take two days.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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