Generic photo of hand in money till cash register with coins and notes 21 Jul 2006.
Generic photo of hand in money till cash register with coins and notes 21 Jul 2006.

Gang member’s son tried to rob supermarket to help his mum

A YOUNG MAN who attempted to rob a supermarket with a hammer had been subjected to a violent lifestyle by his gang-member father and just wanted money to help his overworked mother.

Navajo Nikora Povey, 20, watched his mother make ends meet holding down three jobs, living in the garage of a cousin’s house with his siblings while paying rent on a second residence and unwittingly supporting her then partner’s gambling habit.

Povey felt so responsible to help his mother, he formulated a plan, then hid in bushes outside his target business for hours while in a state of mental conflict about the wrongness of an armed robbery, versus a strong desire to help his mother.

Eventually, the young man entered the Main St IGA about 8.30pm on October 15, 2019, when there were only three people in the store.

He had a T-shirt over his face, held in place by a beanie, and was wearing gloves, when he approached a female cashier with such aggression he smashed the hammer into one of the cash registers as he demanded she give him the money from the tills.

Rockhampton District Court heard on December 10 the cashier was able to hit a button for help when she attended the second register.

A male staff member flew at Povey, armed with a mop, and attempted to strike the young man as he scrambled to leave the store.

Povey was identified as the armed robber after an anonymous tip to police.

For his actions at the IGA, Povey pleaded guilty to one count each of armed robbery and wilful damage.

During sentencing on December 10, his defence lawyer Maree Willey painted a picture of a young man who grew up in a violent environment prior to his mother relocating him and his siblings from New Zealand to Australia, only gaining a glimpse of how life was meant to be when staying with an aunt.

Ms Willey said Povey was introduced to marijuana by his father when he was 10 years old and he progressed to methamphetamines by the time he was 14/15.

She said Povey has not used illicit drugs since April, which was backed by a psychiatric report writer who had noticed Povey’s mental health symptoms had improved about the same time he stopped presenting to hospital for help.

Ms Willey said Povey, whose mother felt took on too much responsibility, admitted to police his actions, including pre-planning and waiting in the bushes, explaining he carried out the attempted armed robbery out of need to help his mother.

She said Povey’s mother was working three jobs at the time, paying rent on two places and living in the garage of her cousin’s house who seven children.

Ms Willey said Povey’s stepfather kept asking Povey’s mother for money, which she originally thought was for household goods but later found was for his gambling problem.

She said Povey’s life was very different to what it was in October 2019 – having been in a relationship for the past 12 months, a job lined up at the mines where his mother now works, and being free of substances which had impacted his mental health.

Judge Jeff Clarke described the attempted armed robbery as “scurrilous behaviour” of some who “menaced” the victim.

“It seems to me that you have grown up considerably,” he said.

Judge Clarke ordered Povey to three years prison with immediate parole release.

Convictions were recorded.



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