Another case for three strikes

The Dom Post reports:

A man with more than 100 convictions – and described as a danger to the public – has escaped being locked up for life after he committed an armed robbery of a Kapiti supermarket.

So how long did he get?

It was the latest in a long list of robberies, and it happened while he was on parole.

However, on Friday a judge accepted that treatment, including medication for depression, might yet reduce the risk that Lawson posed.

Lawson was sentenced to eight years’ jail on charges of aggravated robbery and kidnapping, and has to serve at least four years and nine months before he can be considered for parole.

The fact he was on parole when he did this armed robbery suggests parole is not that great an idea for him. But the good thing is under three strikes, he will not be eligible for parole the next time he does an armed robbery.

Lawson had been out of prison for almost seven weeks when he robbed the Paraparaumu Countdown.

In 2001 he had been sentenced to 10 years’ jail for four robberies. He was said to like expensive and showy items, and after the robberies he bought a Jaguar car and a boat.

Paroled in 2008, his freedom had ended after a “sophisticated” burglary targeting the safe at an Ohakune supermarket in July 2009.

It not only earned him a recall to serve out the rest of his long sentence but also added another 18 months’ jail time.

If three strikes had been implemented earlier he would now be on at least his third strike and away for a much longer time.

The first robbery on Lawson’s list of more than 100 convictions had been for stealing the car that two associates used in an armed holdup of a jewellers in the Wellington suburb of Kelburn in 1994. He pleaded guilty to being a party to the crime and was jailed for 4 years.

He’s been offending with weapons non stop for around 20 years. Call me a pessimist, but I’m not sure he is about to see the error of his ways.

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