A former ice addict who robbed a Canberra sex shop and several other businesses armed with a machete, and then bragged about it, will serve six years and four months in jail for the crimes.
Sonny Oeti, 31, was extradited to Canberra from Queensland last year, after serving half of a five-year sentence there.
During the six Canberra robberies in 2013 and 2014 he used a machete, fake gun and small baseball bat to threaten victims, boasting about one heist to a friend when he sent the text message:
“Bro if you go online news of today you’ll find out i.g.a next to mawson got robbed today n that was me!!” he said.
During one robbery, at a newsagency, Oeti put a machete to the neck of a 15-year-old girl.
In a victim impact statement she told the court she has been traumatised since, with ongoing nightmares and panic attacks.
Oeti, who was originally from Samoa, said his trouble started when a friend introduced him to the drug ice.
“It ruined my life, it stole everything from me,” he told the court.
He said he could not look at footage of the robberies played to the court today.
“I wish I could turn back the hands of time, but I can’t,” he said.
“Things did not go the way I planned.”
He said the robberies began when his ex-wife left with their children and he wanted to do something to get her attention.
“I just wanted to do something really silly,” he said.
“I was in a really dark place. Robbery was easy money.”
He told the court he never intended to hurt anybody.
Robberies were ‘unsophisticated’, driven by ice addition
Oeti said he had since turned his life around, introducing Christian congregations in three jails where he has been held, and he now believed he was rehabilitated.
His lawyer Jacob Robertson urged the court to consider the fact Oeti was likely to be deported to New Zealand, where he is a citizen, as soon as he was released on parole.
He also told the court his client had good prospects for rehabilitation.
Prosecutor Jan De Bruyn said the offences had been committed while Oeti was on bail and involved a considerable threat of violence.
He said there appeared to have been significant planning involved.
Justice David Mossop agreed but said the crimes had not been sophisticated and were driven by Oeti’s ice addiction.
“His thinking was clearly distorted,” Justice Mossop said.
In a complicated sentencing, still to be finalised, Justice Mossop said the total sentence, which would include the Queensland offences, would be just under nine years.