Drive-through costs robber time in jail

Waikato Times - - News - MIKE MATHER

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.