The victim of a terrifying home invasion who was forced to
open a safe with a shotgun to her head says she has been
sentenced to a life of forever looking over her shoulder.
Yvonne Wiffen was visibly shaken today as the two men who
burst into her Upper Hutt home last year were sentenced in
Wellington District Court to more than 10 years in prison.
Jeremy Gorinski, 34, and Dinesh Manoharan, 36, were found
guilty of aggravated robbery by a jury last month.
The trial was told how Mrs Wiffen pleaded for her life as she
was forced to open a safe during the robbery in which she and
husband Malcolm, both in their 60s, were bound and threatened
with sawn-off shotguns.
The men stole $90,000 in notes, coins and jewellery from the
couple's Silverstream home on June 19 last year.
Mrs Wiffen told APNZ the sentences were "better than nothing"
but the ordeal had ruined their lives.
"We've got a life sentence because I just can't go outside at
night without looking over my shoulder to see who's there,
while they're tucked up cosy and warm. It makes you sick,"
"On a nice sunny day when you lock your bloody doors - how
ridiculous that you have to live like that."
Mrs Wiffen said the men had taken all their savings, which
they would never get back.
And she would have to relive the ordeal when the men became
eligible for parole in five and a half years.
"You have no idea, when you're trying to unlock a safe with a
gun at your head, the fear and the terror that's involved in
that. Nobody will ever know what I went through to do that."
Judge Davidson said the victims had been "terrorised" by the
premeditated robbery, which had deeply affected them
emotionally and financially.
"The effect on the victims has been profound. They were
elderly, vulnerable and alone in their own home."
He read from a victim impact statement in which Mr Wiffen
said he was "extremely traumatised" by the home invasion.
Mr Wiffen said he did not know what would happen after the
men tied his hands behind his back and covered his head.
"I could feel the gun at my back. I really thought I could be
Mr Wiffen said there was nothing he could do as he heard his
wife pleading not to be shot.
Manoharan's lawyer, Christopher Stevenson, said his client
"vigorously maintains his innocence" and had not taken part
in the robbery.
Gorinski's lawyer Keith Jefferies said there was no overt
violence and his client had no history of violent offending.
Judge Davidson sentenced Gorinski to a total of 13 years and
three months in prison, including nine years and nine months
for aggravated robbery, with a minimum non-parole period of
five and a half years.
The sentence included three and half years in prison for 14
unrelated burglary charges.
Gorinski earlier pleaded guilty to stealing $200,000 in
property from a number of victims including cars, memorabilia
Judge Davidson also ordered Gorinski to pay $6000 in
reparation, with the money to come from the sale of an Audi
car Gorinski bought with the Wiffen's money.
Manoharan was sentenced to 11 years in jail for aggravated
robbery, also with a minimum non-parole period of five and a
The higher sentence took account of Manoharan's history of
serious violence, including a prior conviction for aggravated
robbery and kidnapping, for which he was sentenced to 10
years in prison.