Masked man who shot two women and robbed six bars at gunpoint to stay behind bars

Douglas Roake. Photo: Pool via NZH
Douglas Roake. Photo: Pool via NZH
A masked gunman who shot two women during a horrific home invasion and robbed six Canterbury pubs and bars at gunpoint, making off with $115,000 during a five-week reign of terror, has been declined parole.

The Parole Board said it was concerned about his proposed release “to the very community he terrorised”.

Douglas Anderson Roake, then-23, was jailed for 13 years and eight months with a minimum non-parole period of six-and-a-half years in 2017 following his crime spree. The money he stole has never been recovered.

Roake, who worked as a security guard at All Blacks legend Richie McCaw’s wedding, made his first appearance before the Parole Board earlier this month at Rolleston Prison.

The board’s report, released to the Herald, described his offending as “extremely serious and premeditated”.

Roake had no previous convictions and had struggled with “obsessive behaviour and rigid thinking patterns”.

At sentencing, Roake said the money was stolen in order to obtain illegal body-building drugs for strongman competitions. There was also a suggestion he may have been affected by misuse of performance-enhancing drugs, but the sentencing judge was not convinced of a link with the offending.

Roake expressed “regret” for the offending, and said he knew it had caused the victims a “lifetime of trauma”, the board said.

He had been “highly motivated” to engage in treatment while in prison.

Roake was now assessed as posing a low risk of violent re-offending, with the risk scenario centred on manipulation by others.

“There was real cruelty and callousness in his treatment of the victims, who included people known to him who had treated him well.”

Roake was now considered to be on the “reintegration pathway”.

He had been working in the Rolleston construction yard and there were “very good” reports of his work ethic and his interactions with others.

“Mr Roake wants to return to bodybuilding but told the board he does not need to take supplements or testosterone in order to achieve this.”

His proposed release address was in Christchurch, close to the scenes of a number of his robberies.

It was proposed to manage victim notification register concerns with exclusion zones of Christchurch and Rolleston, and it was intended that he would be reporting to Probation in Ashburton and taking back routes to achieve this.

The board did not believe his treatment to date to be of the “expected intensity” for such offending.

“We also have real concerns about the proposed release, essentially back to the very community he terrorised”.

There were a large number of victims who were left “deeply traumatised”.

Douglas Roake worked as a security guard at All Blacks legend Richie McCaw’s wedding. Photo:...
Douglas Roake worked as a security guard at All Blacks legend Richie McCaw’s wedding. Photo: Supplied
Creating a limited exclusion zone was in the board’s view “inappropriately places the onus on victims” to confine themselves to those zones.

The board said there was still work to do, without which risk was undue.

The board will see Roake again in July 2024.

The pub robber
After four armed robberies of pubs across Canterbury, Roake’s spree came to a terror-stricken crescendo on April 19.

At about 10pm, he went to a farm in Rolleston where Nicola Dawson and her daughter Michaela lived in the main house.

Her aunty Deidre Dawson lived in a barn at the property.

Heavily-disguised, with a black woollen hat with the eyes cut out, Roake entered the farm carrying a long-barrelled pump action shotgun and black sports bag containing a mallet.

As Deidre was putting items in her car parked outside, Roake appeared, pointing the gun at her.

He ordered her into the house.

While Roake was distracted, she managed to flee and phone police.

Roake blasted two shots into the locked front door of the main house, where the mother and daughter had been watching TV.

He told them to get on the floor and demanded money and keys to a car.

Michaela, believing she was going to be killed, refused to lie down, and tried to grab the gun.

Meanwhile, 53-year-old Nicola ran from the room and phoned police, as well as her son who lived nearby.

Roake hit Michaela with the mallet, aiming at her head, before shooting her in the leg.

She tried to run away, and Roake was bashing her again with the mallet when Nicola came back into the room and tried to strike him with a vase.

He swung the firearm to Nicola and he told her: “I’m going to shoot you”.

He shot her in the stomach, causing her to fall to the floor.

Her son Creighton had then showed up. Roake aimed at his head, but was out of ammunition.

After the home invasion, Roake fled to Ashburton where he held up the Turf Bar at Ashburton Hotel.

“This is a robbery, get inside, and lie on the ground,” he said.

He fired a shot into a wall and then two more into the cash till as he tried to open it.

He took $1645 in cash from the safe before fleeing to an address at Rakaia Huts.

Police found him the following morning where he admitted the Ashburton robbery.

-By Sam Sherwood