Man dared to rob dairy with bottle

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012

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A Hamilton man says he helped rob a dairy of cigarettes and cash because he was dared to.

Andrew Robert Wilkinson, now 21, had a clean record before being sentenced this week in the Hamilton District Court on a charge of aggravated robbery.

Wilkinson and his co-offender were drinking in July last year, when they dared each other to rob the Tui Dairy on the corner of Howden St and Heaphy Tce.

Wilkinson was wearing a backpack, his accomplice was armed with a broken beer bottle. Both men were wearing disguises as they demanded cigarettes. The pair made off with $139.50 worth of Port Royal tobacco, only to be caught by police a short time later.

Wilkinson's counsel, Charles Bean, said his client had got in with the wrong crowd in Hamilton so his family had since moved him to Auckland.

He said the robbery was not premeditated, and was a dare made during drinking and pool-playing in a garage.

"The weapon was a beer bottle, the item the co-offender was drinking out of. It was not a great plan, not premeditated . . . it was more of a dare-and-stupidity situation."

Wilkinson had not offended on bail and had lined up a job in Auckland.

Judge Philip Connell said the robbery had an impact on the dairy owner who was expecting a baby at the time. They were fearful it would happen again.

"You were just a hooded crook when you turned up demanding cash . . .it's hard to see why anybody should be offering you any consideration or sympathy."

Judge Connell took into account Wilkinson's youth, previously clean record and efforts made since the incident.

Wilkinson was spared jail, instead handed down a 10-month home detention sentence, and ordered to pay $500 reparation for emotional harm.

"But if you slip up or make no effort, then I will know. I will get a report as to how you progress and it better be a good one to stop me from getting you back in here."

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- Waikato Times

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