Bomb hoax robber jailed

Last updated 10:24 26/03/2014

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A man who staged an elaborate bomb hoax in a bid to rob a South Auckland bank has been jailed for six years and three months.

In the Manukau District Court today Judge Charles Blackie heard the man had an extensive record of major crime including nine counts of violent and aggravated robbery.

Charles Mackintosh Mackay, 47, of Tuakau, robbed the Manukau BNZ on February 7 of $150 after demanding the cash and then leaving what he said was an explosive device on the counter.

It was later found to be harmless.

Mackay pleaded guilty on arrest and Judge Blackie told the court Mackay started his record in the youth court in 1982 and had notched up eight pages of offences including threatening to kill, assaults, robbery, forgery and drug offending.

"They are all here, right across the board," Judge Blackie said.

The court was told Mackay had come out of jail for another robbery and had been in a pre-release job, which he lost.

He then decided to rob a bank.

"The circumstances of this robbery are quite unusual, I would say unprecedented," Judge Blackie said.

Mackay disguised himself with a wig and a false tattoo on one hand and even taped his fingers so he wouldn't leave any prints.

"You prepared yourself well in advance," the judge said.

Mackay then called a taxi from his home and went to the bank, telling the driver to wait for him as he went inside.

He asked to see a bank employee about sending money to Tonga and then produced his elaborate bomb hoax. It was a plastic box with batteries, a timer and wiring.

"Quite ingenious one might say," the judge said.

"You intended them to believe it was a real bomb, and they believed it was a real bomb."

Mackay told the staff he wanted $200,000 and if he did not get it he would blow up the bomb.

A small amount of cash was handed over and he left the bank in the taxi, going home.

He was recorded on the taxi video camera and police found him later at home.

He was also found to have a sophisticated cannabis-growing operation.

"You were caught red-handed," Judge Blackie said.

The judge said the victim impact statements from the bank manager and staff member made disturbing reading and they had been left psychologically injured.

"They wonder why people like you are ever released into the public," the judge said.

The starting point for sentence was eight years three months Judge Blackie said, and he granted a 25 per cent reduction for early guilty pleas, taking the sentence to six years three months.

He noted that Mackay had served all of his most recent sentence and it was likely he would do the same this time.

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Judge Blackie said he was surprised the Crown had not made an application for a High Court sentence of preventative detention.

"The conduct needs to be denounced in the strongest possible terms," he said.

- Stuff

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