Jail for 'Hitler' after two days of terror

Last updated 10:00 30/11/2013
Te Rangi Jamie Charl Trangmar
Fairfax NZ
Te Rangi Jamie Charl Trangmar

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A King Country shearer who claimed he was Hitler after going on a rampage around Otorohanga and Waitomo over two days has been jailed.

For two days in 2010, Te Rangi Jamie Charles Trangmar, who prefers to be known as Marshall, then aged 24, went on a crime spree that left several people injured and fearing for their lives.

During the spree he assaulted and threatened to kill several people, and they barricaded themselves in a bedroom of a house. He then threatened other residents while armed with a sawnoff shotgun - which he also fired into the roof of Curly's Bar in Waitomo - and took some cash.

Three patrons, Charles Smart, Allen Juno and Aaron Milne, tackled him to prevent further injury and get the gun.

But Marshall got away, jumping on a quad bike and trying to run down two people, sparking an armed police manhunt.

During a two-day trial in August, which was abandoned on the second day, Curly's Bar co-owner, Ian McErlich - known as Curly - told the jury how he was behind the bar when Marshall walked in while armed with a firearm and demanded money.

"He said: ‘give me the money'."

Mr McErlich said Marshall was waving the gun at him when he suddenly pointed it up into the air and fired a shot into the roof.

"I was not believing what was happening until the shot was fired and thought, well I better give in to his demands, so I then moved along to the till."

He was eventually charged with 17 offences, including aggravated robbery, kidnapping, assault, injuring with intent, threatening to kill and wilful damage, for which he was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court yesterday.

Crown prosecutor Tini Clark said the victims had suffered emotionally, psychologically and financially, and they wished that Marshall understood the impact his offending had on them.

"One couple have moved out of their house as a result of these matters," she said.

Marshall's lawyer Roger Laybourn said "the absolute tragedy, from my client's point of view, is that until he became addicted to drugs and a user of methamphetamine and alcohol and did this absolutely bizarre and frightening behaviour, everybody only had good things to say about him."

"He was a hard working young man. It would not be an exaggeration to say he was a champion shearer . . . and neighbours were expressing shock and surprise and spoke highly of him."

Mr Laybourn said rather than use Marshall's poor mental health in a defence in a trial, it should be used in mitigation in his sentencing.

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"Trangmar still struggles and still needs assistance and medication . . . He's bewildered how he could have hurt people he had nothing against at the time."

Judge Glen Marshall took Marshall's mental health into account, but in handing down a sentence of nine years five months' prison, he said he also had to bear in mind the impact on the victim and the need for denunciation of his behaviour.

"Your rampage not only affected one [victim] but the wider community . . . there's concern about you being released back into that community because of the fear that you caused . . . another has trouble sleeping, worried that you might hold a grudge and wanted to know that you are fully rehabilitated before release."

Another victim had a gun pointed at him.

"He didn't know if it was loaded or not. He thought he was a dead man."

Marshall was also sentenced to a minimum non-parole period of four years six months and issued a first strike warning.

- Waikato

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