Teen walks from court after machete hold-up
A JUVENILE offender who held up a Childers service station with a machete has escaped jail time.
The young man faced Bundaberg District Court on Tuesday on charges of robbery while armed.
The court heard that the 18-year-old, who was 17 at the time of offence, had planned with four other friends how they would rob the service station.
"The defendant child and four adult co-accused are before the court," Crown prosecutor Carla Ahern said.
"They prepared to commit the offence by attending a residence to obtain clothes, a machete, a metal bar and knife, and a bag to place stuff into.
"They then drove past the police station to make sure no police were present."
Ms Ahern said at 2.30am on February 1, 2019, the defendant entered the service station with a balaclava over his face, had his hands covered, and was armed with a machete.
The defendant's co-accused were armed with the metal bar and the knife.
"The defendant approached the front counter and waved the machete at the female attendant," Ms Ahern said.
"She opened the tills and he stole money and cigarettes and packets of tobacco. He then grabbed a handful of chocolates and offered one to the complainant."
It was heard that one of the co-accused sat out in the car and would drive through the glass door if the other three became locked inside.
On the way back to Bundaberg, the offenders pulled the car over, burnt their clothes and disposed of a knife.
Three of the accused were located together the next day, in the same car, with some $4000 worth of tobacco in hand.
The defendant initially gave police a false report detailing he was the lookout, however CCTV footage implicated him as the leader.
"He continues to re-offend while subject to probation and bail... and he is unwilling to participate to justice mediation," Ms Ahern said.
While the defendant had previously shown limited insight into his offending behaviour and how it affected others, defence barrister Simone Bain said he had shown a great deal of remorse that morning before facing court.
"He's terrified of going into detention... he's scared of the things he has subjected on his complainant... of being attacked... and he's scared to be beaten up," Ms Bain said.
The defendant's parents both drank heavily, his father was abusive, and the youthful offender also became aggressive at a young age.
Ms Bain said the defendant, who left school in Year 7, had been through significant childhood trauma.
"He's got very limited structure in his life," she said.
When Judge Leanne Clare SC questioned the defendant's remorse, saying he had such an entrenched resistance to rehabilitation, Ms Bain stated the sentence could be the turning point for him.
"But he's living in a home where a friend is also engaged in offending behaviours," Ms Clare quizzed.
Ms Bain responded, saying: "If he doesn't take advantage of this opportunity, he knows what the consequences are and that will involve an adult prison."
Ms Clare sentenced the young defendant to a conditional release order, which is a mandatory three-month intensive program that allows for release in a supportive way with limited risk to the community.
"That plan and the way it was carried out had the risk that someone could get badly hurt," Ms Clare said.
"Fortunately nobody was physically injured. It's like you had watched some b-grade movie to plan this out."
The judge said the defendant's history made for "very sad reading".
"It was an extremely traumatic childhood which left you with a distorted view of what is appropriate, and what it means to be a man," she said.
The defendant was detained for 12 months, suspended immediately for 12 months of probation, and ordered to participate in a conditional release order for three months.
The offender walked out with a smile on his face.