Henry’s knife robber convicted


A Dunedin man has been convicted of the armed robbery of a Queenstown liquor store and a subsequent carjacking.

Thomas Alexander Dyson, 24, held up Henry’s Liquor with a 7cm Leatherman-style knife on Wednesday, August 19.

He showed the cashier the knife and demanded cash before fleeing with $1140 from the register of the Shotover St store about 6.30pm.

Dyson then stopped a $25,000 BMW coupe in the street and brandished the knife at its female driver, Wilma Mary Nehoff.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin, at Queenstown District Court yesterday, says: ”He told her to get out, which she did.”

Collin says Dyson drove off and then picked up a teenage friend who had been allegedly waiting nearby throughout the incident.

The friend, who has interim name suppression, has pleaded not guilty to identical charges and elected trial by jury.
The pair drove off and then, believing they were being followed, drove at speed to the upmarket suburb of Dalefield.

Dyson swerved to avoid a police roadblock with spikes but later crashed into a fence.

He was found by police while he was unsuccessfully trying to restart the vehicle.

The teenager had allegedly fled with the cash only to be found by police two hours later hiding in a bush 150m from the car.

The knife was found nearby.

Collin says: ”They had met during the previous month and developed a friendship. They travelled to Queenstown by bus for a holiday. The defendant had no funds and the other defendant had limited funds.”

Collin says the pair had stayed at a backpackers’ hostel and then spent the day drinking wine, beer and vodka.

When the funds ran low, Collin alleges the pair discussed how to get more money and tried to gain entry to two casinos but were turned away due to their level of intoxication.

”In the course of the afternoon they discussed committing a robbery to obtain cash.”

Police allege Dyson cut his finger while testing the sharpness of the knife.

His lawyer Sonia Vidal said her client agreed he injured himself with the knife but disputed the cause.

Dyson was convicted of drink-driving in relation to the incident, with a level of 992mcg.

He was remanded in custody to November 9 for sentence.

Judge Bernadette Farnan ordered a presentence report with appendices to address home detention, although that was no indication of sentence.

His co-accused was earlier remanded in custody to October 27 for a case management hearing.