Synthetic cannabis user admits robbery

A teenager has admitted robbing a 68-year-old man for money to buy synthetic cannabis.

Anthony John Wheble, 19, rode his bicycle past the man while he asked him for money, and then punched him until he handed over his belongings.

The Christchurch District Court was told the robbery took place in Manchester St at 5.20am on July 27.

Wheble punched the man in the head, causing him to fall. When the victim got to his feet he showed Wheble his empty wallet, and Wheble kicked him in the chest.

The victim then handed over his backpack and cellphone and Wheble rode away.

The police summary said all the backpack contents had been recovered. Wheble told them he was addicted to synthetic cannabis and needed the money.

After Wheble pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery, Judge Emma Smith remanded him in custody to September 19. She asked for a pre-sentence report to assess his suitability for a home-detention sentence.

Defence counsel Clayton Williams said he would be seeking a residential rehabilitation programme for Wheble, and Wheble wanted to attend a restorative justice meeting with his victim.

The Press