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Cyenna Dian Allimain Grace-Ngaro (23) was jailed for three and a-half years before the Dunedin District Court in December 2018 after admitting charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, theft, shoplifting, burglary and assault.
She went to the Stadium Store in St Kilda with a butcher’s knife tucked into her pants and stole cigarettes, cash and confectionery.
The next day she robbed the Elgin Food Market of a till drawer containing $3000.
Andre Goddard joined her on both occasions while Shyanne Oliver-Baker acted as a getaway driver.
Goddard and Oliver-Baker were also involved in the earlier robbery of the Musselburgh Dairy, making off with cash and tobacco worth more than $3000.
Grace-Ngaro was granted early release on her fifth trip to see the Parole Board, six months before her sentence would have ended.
Panel convener Mary More said the Arohata Prison inmate had been offending since the age of 17 and had been involved in violence, burglaries, and vehicle crimes.
However, Grace-Ngaro was now a minimum-security prisoner, and Corrections staff said since she had done a dependency treatment programme she had become “a different person”.
The board was concerned the woman had received no psychological therapy while inside but said that could be addressed during her parole.
Grace-Ngaro said she had spent her adult life jobless and on a benefit but now wanted to “grow her life”.
She hoped for a hairdressing apprenticeship, Ms More said.
“Ms Grace-Ngaro has done very well,” she said. “[Her] family [said] they will support and monitor her.”
The prisoner will be released at the end of the month on the following conditions:
- To live at an address approved by Probation
- To abide by a 10pm-6am curfew for three months
- Not to enter the Elgin Food Market or Stadium Store
- Not to contact co-offenders or victims
- Not to possess alcohol or non-prescription drugs
- To attend any assessments and counselling prescribed by Probation
Goddard was jailed for six years and will have a parole hearing this month. Oliver-Baker, who was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment was released on parole a year ago.