Armed robber jailed for 14 years

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An armed robber who held up the same restaurant employee at gunpoint twice in six months apologised to his victim as he was jailed for 14 years.

Tio Weeks said he was “sorry from the bottom of my heart” to Judy Outerbridge for threatening her with a firearm while she worked at Pasta Basta in Hamilton.

Weeks targeted Pasta Basta on Elliott Street on March 13, 2016, and then returned to rob the restaurant again six months later on September 27.

During the two robberies, he threatened staff and pointed the gun directly at Ms Outerbridge.

Just a few days before he raided Pasta Basta for the second time, he held up staff at the Wok Express in Hamilton at gunpoint.

Last month, The Royal Gazette revealed that Ms Outerbridge had known Weeks when he was a baby, and had been the first person to hold him after he was born.

She described how she broke down in tears after discovering that Weeks was the man that held her up at gunpoint twice.

Weeks, who has previous convictions for violence dating back two decades, was sentenced at Supreme Court by Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe last week.

The 40-year-old was caught after police traced the motorbike he used to escape from the robberies back to him.

The court heard that Weeks had also volunteered information on the whereabouts of the firearm he used so it would not be used to commit further crimes.

At a previous hearing, Weeks pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and three counts of using a firearm while committing an indictable offence.

The court heard that he used an imitation firearm during the first robbery at Pasta Basta, but a real firearm on the second two robberies.

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