7 May 2013

Jail term extended after man fails to give evidence

10:00 pm on 7 May 2013

An armed robber has been sentenced to an extra 18 months' jail after reneging on a promise to give evidence against his co-accused.

Edward Zbedo Thomas had admitted breaking down the door of a flat in Auckland and setting fire to it in 2010.

The prosecuting lawyer suggested to the judge a sentence reduction of about 60% would reflect the significance of Thomas's guilty pleas and assistance.

But at a later disputed facts hearing for one of his co-accused, Thomas refused to be sworn.

He went back on a statement that the other man had carried a machete and instead maintained he himself struck the flat owner with it.

The Court of Appeal ruling released on Tuesday decided that his four-year sentence should be increased to five-and-a-half years to take account of his failure to give evidence.