Elderly man stood up to robbers

18:12, Aug 06 2014

A 72-year-old man bravely stuck up for himself during a home invasion robbery by a sex worker and two male associates.

The trio demanded $2000 and when the man refused to pay, they piled items into a blanket and took them instead.

The items included a treasured commemorative coin in a brown leather case.

Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland said the victim bravely confronted the man leaving with the blanket full of loot. The robber pushed him aside into the wall and left anyway.

He then struggled with the other robber.

Appearing for sentence was Olivia Jessica Stanway, 24, who had admitted a charge of attempted aggravated robbery, and had then been found guilty of aggravated robbery at a jury trial.


The judge suppressed details of the victim's name, address, and occupation.

Stanway's defence counsel Andrew Bailey said the judge could take into account that there had been no weapons involved. Damage to the man's property had been threatened but not carried out.

Judge Garland said the incident happened after Stanway went to the man's home in Christchurch about 7.15pm on Sunday September 15. She asked to use the toilet, claiming she was pregnant.

She returned a few seconds after leaving the victim's home with one of her male associates.

She then demanded $2000 and threatened to "trash" his house if he did not pay.

When he declined, Stanway and the man began searching for money and the man took a chequebook and laptop computer. The victim made him put those items back.

When the victim tried to call the police, Stanway stopped him.

The second male intruder then appeared, with a bandana over his face, and bundled items into a blanket from the bedroom. Items included the commemorative coin, two watches, books, and a box containing personal documents.

After he left, the victim struggled with the first male intruder and his shirt was ripped.

Judge Garland said Stanway had begun opiate use from 14 and had been on the methadone programme.

She had lied about being pregnant at the time of the robbery, but was now pregnant.  

She would be able to have the baby with her in prison for up to two years if it was in the interests of the child.

Stanway wiped away tears as the judge jailed her for three-and-a-half years.

He told her: "Regrettably, I am not able to reduce that for guilty plea, contrition, or remorse, because all are absent."

The Press