An armed robber kidnapped two Tokoroa dairy owners, made them
drive him to McDonald's then ate takeaways while the
petrified couple counted his loot.
The dairy owners feared for their safety during the
terrifying 40-minute gunpoint robbery, a court has heard.
Willem Patrick Winikerei, 25, was sentenced in the Rotorua
District Court yesterday to five years' jail and ordered to
pay reparation of $1509 after earlier pleading guilty to one
count of aggravated robbery and two counts of kidnapping. The
charges relate to an incident on October 13 at the Amber
Dairy on Bridge St.
In sentencing, Judge Chris McGuire said the facts of the case
were both "bad'' and "bizarre''.
He said a balaclava-clad Winikerei waited outside as the
owners - a husband and wife - were locking up about 10pm.
Winikerei made the waiting female victim get out of her
vehicle then forced the couple back into the dairy, using an
imitation handgun. He demanded cash and was handed $600 and
10 cartons of cigarettes.
He then forced the couple back into their car and made them
drive him to the Tokoroa McDonald's, where he spent $40 on
food from the drive through. He then made them drive to an
isolated industrial area where he sat eating, while the
couple counted the money for him.
Winikerei then demanded the couple's wallets. The woman did
not have her wallet, but he took $80 from the man and then
forced them to drive him to an ATM where he used the man's
card to withdraw a further $200. He then demanded they return
to the dairy where he stole another $500 from the safe and a
Finally, he drove to the Mobil station on State Highway 1 and
left the car, telling the couple not to look back at him or
he would kill them.
Judge McGuire said the ordeal lasted about 40 minutes and had
a severe impact on the dairy owners.
He read out the 50-year-old woman's victim impact statement
where she wrote: "The harm done to me is emotional ... I am
nervous when we leave at night and dislike going out in the
Her husband's statement said he had feared for their safety
during the ordeal, especially when Winikerei took them to an
isolated spot. His statement said he woke up thinking about
it in the middle of the night and the incident had changed
his life completely.
Winikerei's lawyer, Katherine Ewen, told the court her client
had been drunk and hungry at the time, having not eaten in
about three days.
Judge McGuire replied he viewed that with scepticism, given
Winikerei had been able to get enough alcohol to get drunk.
Mrs Ewen said Winikerei was remorseful and had written to the
victims, the judge and his own family apologising for his
crimes. His mother had also written to the judge, outlining
her son's background and his past sporting, cultural and
Mrs Ewen said her client bought a car for $800 with the money
he stole, which would be sold to help pay reparation.
Judge McGuire told Winikerei if he was hungry all he had to
do was go to his mother. He said some of Winikerei's actions,
McDonald's while making his victims count the money, were not
only those of a drunk man but one whose sanity "must be
called into question''.
He said Winikerei, who had a number of previous convictions
for drugs, burglary and dishonesty offences, had substantial
talent in many areas of his life but had gone down the wrong
"And I think you now realise that is the road to nowhere, the
road to jail.''
- By Katie Holland of The Daily Post