Canterbury man to spend at least six and half years in jail for six aggravated robberies and home invasion


District Court Judge Jane Farish has sentenced Douglas Roake to 13 years and eight months behind bars, with a minimum of six and half years served before he is eligible for parole.

Douglas Roake's lawyer said he lived in a 'violent fantasy world', as he was sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
Source: 1 NEWS

Roake started crying in the dock of the Christchurch District Court as he listened to the judge sum up the six aggravated robberies and a home invasion.

In sentencing she has told the court: "You have caused your victims immeasurable mental anguish, you have robbed them of a sense of wellbeing and personal safety".

Earlier two women shot by Roake read emotional and angry victim impact statements.

Douglas Roake.

Douglas Roake.

Source: Iain McGregor

The masked gunman held up five pubs and bars making off with over $100,000 in cash, as well as a terrifying home invasion where he shot two of the occupants.

The crime spree began after Roake worked as a security guard at All Blacks legend Richie McCaw's wedding in January.

Roake burst into a Halswell home, masked, dressed in black and shouting.

His 27-year-old victim, who he shot in the leg and beaten with a mallot, spoke directly to Roake in the dock as she told the court, "You shot your way into my home, my safe place.. worst of all you shot your way into my house where my precious four and a half year old was sleeping."

"It terrifies me every day that you came to kill me, you had me lying on my stomach so you didn't have to see me, and almost killed my mother."

The victim's 53-year-old mother was shot in the stomach, injured so severely that the contents of her abdomen were clearly visible.

She directed her angry words to Roake, who looked at her throughout her statement.

"If I had not tripped over the dog bed and fallen when you shot me my injuries could have been fatal."

She says "Our home was my safe place my haven, I used to feel secure there, I no longer do. We feel like we are being watched all the time."

'Operating in a violent fantasy world'

Defence lawyer Jonathon Eaton says he has read the victim impact statements to his client and "he understands the harm he did to so many people".

He has offered to take part in restorative justice with all of his victims.

However, he says Roakes' family, his parents and 94-year-old grandfather who are in court, and police have struggled to find any rational explanation for his actions.

"His family have expressed their disbelief and their shame at what their son had done."

Roake has autism spectrum disorder, and at the time of the rampage had become obsessed with bodybuilding and was taking testosterone supplements, he had stopped eating and was living off energy drinks, cutting himself off from his friends and family.

He was worrying about having enough money to enter strongman competitions, leading him to "start operating in a violent fantasy world" and "in March this year he went completely off the rails, effecting so many lives".

His lawyer says he acted brazenly and with bravado but due to his medical diagnosis he was unable to understand at the time the impact his behaviours on others. 

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