A Gisborne robber who swung a
knife at an Indian restaurant employee and stole $6000 later
told police he was prepared to use the knife.
If he had not had the knife, he would have needed to punch
the employee in the face to gain his compliance, Hira John
Wharepapa, 26, pleaded guilty yesterday in Gisborne District
Court to aggravated robbery.
On May 5, while armed with a knife, he robbed the Bollywood
restaurant employee of cash.
Wharepapa was remanded in custody for sentencing. He will
next appear on May 28.
The police summary of facts said Wharepapa was wearing dark
glasses, a hooded jersey with the hood pulled up, and carried
a handbag containing a knife with a 10cm blade, when he
entered the restaurant though a back door at 1.30pm.
Wharepapa went to the gaming lounge where he pretended to
play games while he watched the bar area.
No bar staff were present.
Wharepapa took the knife from his bag as he walked behind the
bar where he attempted to open a cash register.
As he did so, the employee came out of the kitchen into the
Wharepapa immediately presented the knife at him and demanded
that the cash register be opened.
The employee opened the cash register and backed away.
Wharepapa grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back towards
The employee loaded cash into Wharepapa's bag as ordered.
Another staff member came into the bar and attempted to stop
Wharepapa, who moved towards him with the knife.
The man went back to the kitchen and alerted other staff.
The first employee tried but failed to grab the bag of cash
Wharepapa tried to "slash" him with the knife before
attempting to leave the restaurant through the back door.
The door had been locked, forcing Wharepapa to run through
the gaming room to leave the premises by the front door.
The cash, consisting of both notes and coins, has not been