FILE PHOTO. Sarah Barnham

Kid robbers wield tomahawk in Chinese restaurant robbery

ARMED with a tomahawk, two youths walked into a Chinese restaurant and demanded money.

One offender thumped the tomahawk down hard on the till, causing fear to staff at Deng's Diner Chinese restaurant in Raceview.

They then ran out with the till and its money.

One of the teenage offenders pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to stealing at Raceview on January 15.

His role was deemed to be less than his child co-offender.

It was his first time before a court.

Defence lawyer Sebastian Jennings said the teen's offending had been secondary. He stood at the restaurant door and watched "in a situation that has essentially blown up".

"The use of the tomahawk was not something he expected in terms of how it was used on the till," Mr Jennings said.

Mr Jennings sought not to have a conviction recorded against the teen because of the likely impact it would have on his future employment opportunities.

Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Courtney Boss said both youths wore face masks. The offence was captured on CCTV.

Magistrate David Shepherd said that on the face of the information police could have proceeded with a more serious offence of robbery with a higher penalty.

He said he must take into account his actual conduct, that the pair entered the restaurant with their faces covered with the intent to steal.

His co-offender was armed with a tomahawk carried in such a way as to cause alarm.

"It was planned, pre-meditated," Mr Shepherd said.

"You played an inactive, passive role other than your presence and he went beyond what you expected in the manner he waved about the tomahawk and caused fear to people.

"It doesn't diminish your liability for the offence."

Mr Shepherd took into account a report about the teen's earning difficulties and that he suffered attention deficit disorder and avoided illicit drugs and would not even take prescribed medication to help with his condition.

He said the report stated he was not an aggressive person and never violent but might be easily led by others and had other personal stresses in his life. He found the teen's prospects to be good and that he was unlikely to come back before the court.

Mr Shepherd ordered that he complete a two-year supervised probation order that might also help him to focus. No conviction was recorded.

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