‘You don’t expect me to pay for these, do you?: Hamilton robber’s words to bottleshop worker after pulling out knife

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Tyrone Harrison pulled a knife on a shopworker at a Thirsty Liquor bottle store in Hamilton last year after being asked to pay for the bottles of booze he and his associate were stealing. Image / Google maps

An armed robber was left incredulous after being asked to pay for four bottles of booze he and his co-offender were about to steal from a bottle store.

“You don’t expect me to pay for these, do you?” Tyrone Rauhui Harrison said after pulling out a knife when confronted by the Hamilton East Thirsty Liquor bottle store worker about the Jim Beam and whiskey he was walking out with.

Harrison, who sports a large Killer Bees tattoo across his face, then walked past another store worker who was standing by the front door, brandishing the knife at him also as he left.


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Three hours later, Harrison was on Peachgrove Rd and approached a car.

After briefly chatting with the driver, he walked around to the passenger side of the car and struck the person – who he didn’t know – with an empty glass bottle.

The victim fell to the ground with a suspected broken nose.

Harrison fled, but returned about 10 minutes later and was identified by witnesses and arrested.


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As police searched him and found the knife he’d earlier used, he headbutted the officer in the face, and as he was driven back to the police station, continuously kicked the officer in the back seat.

Harrison had earlier accepted a sentence indication and today was back in the Hamilton District Court to find out his end jail term for the offending, which took place last September.

His counsel Melissa James asked Judge Noel Cocurullo for further discounts given the content of his Section 27 cultural report and psychologist’s report, along with efforts he’s made in courses while in custody.

What was made clear was Harrison’s institutionalisation from continuous years of prison sentences, which were now “the norm for him”.

The reports also highlighted his background and upbringing, which featured his early exposure to violence in the home and then being shunted from different homes and living situations, she said.

That saw him meet other young people along the way who he “learned to better offend from”, which had impacted his ability to make proper choices going into adulthood.

He had since been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, but his medication helped stabilise him enough to get treatment, she said.

The report also noted discussion about whether he should be subjected to an extended supervision order, usually reserved for older, hardened criminals.

“He is 26, so he is still young … that does mean he does have a capacity to rehabilitate,” James said.

Judge Cocurullo accepted the reports’ contents and the fact he was remorseful and keen to attend restorative justice, though that was turned down by the victims.


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He agreed to issue an extra 15 per cent discount for those factors and, on charges of aggravated robbery, injuring with intent, assaulting police and possession of an offensive weapon, jailed Harrison for three and a half years.

Belinda Feek has been a reporter for 19 years, and at the Herald for eight years, joining the Open Justice team in 2022.

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