Instigator of Northland theft admits charge

The instigator of roadside theft of three Chinese tourists at remote Te Paki in the Far North in August has admitted a charge of aggravated robbery.

Jovi Rai Samson, 20, of Kaitaia, pleaded guilty to robbing Chinese nationals Liu Yang, Zheng Haiou and Lu Xiaoling when he appeared in Kaitaia District Court on Thursday.

Three other co-accused have also been charged with aggravated robbery in connection with the August 21 incident near 90 Mile Beach.

Following his guilty plea, Samson was remanded in custody by Judge Duncan Harvey to join another accomplice, Jared Sullivan Ngawhika, 25, in Kaikohe District Court on December 22 when both defendants will appear for a disputed facts hearing.

Samson's lawyer Doug Blaikie says he pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery and that although he instigated the robbery and punched two victims, he denied cutting the handbag from a victim.

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