Drive-through costs robber time in jail
It might have frequently worked for the Hamburglar, but robbing the cashier at the drive-through of a McDonald’s restaurant in Thames proved a bad idea for Dagan Wesley McArthur.
The 33-year-old Hamilton man was jailed for 22 months when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Monday on a charge of robbery, laid in response to an incident on the night of September 18 last year.
It was 10.26pm on a Monday night when McArthur walked up to the lone staff member at the window in the middle of the Goldfields shopping centre in Mary St.
McArthur told the staff member he had a gun.
He handed his victim a bag and told him to put $20 and $50 notes inside it.
Fearing for his life, the staff member quickly put $1180 in the bag.
While doing so, he noticed McArthur had a black object, which appeared to be the stock of a gun.
At the time of the robbery, three staff members were on duty.
There were also vehicles lining up in the drive-through behind the robber.
Once his haul was in the bag, McArthur ran off towards the northern end of the shopping centre’s car park.
Shortly afterward he was found nearby by armed police and arrested.
McArthur was initially charged with aggravated robbery, but this was downgraded to robbery as the facts of the matter were ascertained during his journey through the courts.
McArthur – who court documents state is of no fixed abode in central Hamilton – was suffering from multiple health issues including schizophrenia, epilepsy and diabetes, his counsel Kerry Burroughs told the court.
While he took strong medication ‘‘to keep him on the straight and narrow’’, it was when he abandoned these drugs, or substituted them with nonprescription drugs, that his offending occurred, Burroughs said.
‘‘He has had mental health issues all of his life.
‘‘There have been times when he has not been adequately monitored and, of course, you get the offending.
‘‘He leads the life that his mind tells him should happen.’’
McArthur had pleaded guilty to the robbery charge at the earliest opportunity.
He had written a letter of remorse to the court and had wanted to participate in a restorative justice conference that his victim ended up not attending.
McArthur was no stranger to the courts.
Among his 65 previous convictions were two for aggravated robbery in 2006 and one for demanding with menaces in 2016, as well as numerous burglaries.
Judge Denise Clarke took a starting point for sentencing of two-and-a-half years in prison, uplifting it by three months to mark McArthur’s previous offending and then allowing for discounts to reflect the guilty plea, steps he had taken to rehabilitate himself while in custody, and his ‘‘significant’’ health issues.
She ended with 22 months in prison. As McArthur was on his ‘‘second strike’’ under the rules of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010, he must serve the full 22 months with no prospect of early release.
It is part of his release conditions that he take any medication prescribed to him by his treatment team, and that he not possess or consume any drugs that haven’t been prescribed to him.