Man jailed for aggravated robbery

A Hamilton man has been jailed for his part in the aggravated robbery of a city liquor store.

Ray Paul, 23, was convicted on the charge by a jury after a trial in Hamilton recently.

Paul was regarded by the Crown as the 'lookout' person for the robbery of the Thirsty Liquor Store on Te Rapa Rd on October 19, last year.

Paul and his co-accused - who also been jailed for his offending - had been drinking at their house nearby when a plan was hatched to rob the store, the court heard.

Paul was unarmed and stood outside the shop as his associate went inside armed with a sword and a knife and demanded cash and cigarettes from the two people.

Paul claimed he did not know of his associates intentions and was unaware he was armed, but that was dismissed by Judge Connell.

"I have to say as a course of the evidence I don't doubt at all that you heard (co-offender) talking about what was going to happen and that you could not have helped but hear. Your girlfriend (at the time) understood what he was saying ... You left the address with (co-offender)  and I'm of the strong view, knew what his intentions were and it's impossible to say otherwise."

The robbery was also caught on CCTV footage from inside the store.

Judge Connell said the robbery was "extremely frightening" for the victims and there had also been an effect on their young daughter, he said.

Paul's counsel Charles Bean said his client had since moved away from the Waikato in a successful attempt to distance himself from his associates.

He had also gained full time employment and was in a stable relationship.

Paul was sentenced to 2 and-a-half years' prison.

Waikato Times