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Robbery To Pay Off Mongrel Mob - Timaru Teen

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 9 NZPA - A Timaru teenager has escaped a jail sentence for assault and aggravated robbery after telling the court he was trying to go straight.

Rhys Nasologa Senelale, 17, wore a disguise and carried a large knife as he robbed a dairy of $300 last July.

In the Timaru District Court yesterday his lawyer Teresa Lawrence said the money was to pay off the Mongrel Mob, who he was in debt to, so he could leave the gang, the Timaru Herald reported.

In October, Senelale punched the ex-boyfriend of an associate, breaking his jaw. He then kicked the youth as he lay on the ground.

His victim was hospitalised for three nights, his jaw was wired and he had to eat through a straw for a month.

Ms Lawrence said a prison sentence would place Senelale with the very people he should be kept away from.

Judge Brian Callaghan said starting points for the offending were four years' jail for the robbery and two-and-a-half years for the assault.

He reduced those numbers to account for Senelale's age, guilty pleas and because it appeared he had turned his life around.

Senelale was sentenced to 12 months home detention, and 200 hours of community work.

He must pay $300 to the dairy owner and $1000 to the youth he assaulted for emotional harm.

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