Armed robber gets three years after pleading guilty

IT'S been three years since Joshua James Kanak entered the Yaamba Rd Caltex and waved a steak knife at a young female attendant in a terrifying armed robbery.

But during Kanak's sentencing yesterday the Rockhampton District Court heard how the staff member, then 21, still suffers from paranoia and anxiety.

Kanak, 28, pleaded guilty to the armed robbery which occurred just before 10pm on February 12, 2012.

The court heard he approached the service station and signalled for the attendant to let him in, since the doors automatically lock at night and need to be opened by a security button.

Once inside he rushed at her holding a steak knife with a 20cm blade, wearing a balaclava, a dark hoodie and gloves.

The attendant was able to signal to her colleague, who had just left for a smoke break, and they escaped to a secure room as Kanak tried fruitlessly to open the computer-operated till.

But after ripping the entire thing out of the wall his escape was hindered by the electronic doors, which would not open and did not smash after several unsuccessful shoulder charges.

He eventually managed to smash another glass door but was seen by a witness, who he threatened to stab.

Kanak left the knife, his balaclava, a sock and the till at the scene, but police did not identify him until a year later when his DNA turned up in their database.

In March last year he was arrested.

Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco presented a hand written letter to the court, on behalf of Kanak, which expressed remorse and shame.

He also wrote an apology letter addressed to the service station.

He said the father of five had a good work history but went off the rails as a result of drug use, and was broke.

"This was out of character offending which happened at a time when his life was spiralling out of control," he said. He was sentenced to three years nine months in jail, eligible for parole on March 18, 2016.

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