Accused robber Lawrence Williams walks free from court after he was granted bail in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday. Photo: Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
Accused robber Lawrence Williams walks free from court after he was granted bail in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday. Photo: Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King

Bandit caught at hairdresser

WITH less than a dollar in his account and a $10,000 loan to repay, Lawrence Michael Williams scribbled his demands on a piece of paper and headed to the bank.

"He thought, what the hell... just do it and see what happens," Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis told the Rockhampton District Court.

After waiting patiently in line at the Rock Building Society, the 44-year-old approached the teller and slid the note across the counter.

The court heard the 22-year-old female employee had to read the note a few times before the message finally sank in - she was being robbed.

"You're on camera, don't do anything stupid. Smile and be calm. $10,000 in hundred dollar notes."

Williams pleaded guilty to the robbery, which occurred on October 10 last year, and was sentenced to two years jail yesterday.

The court heard the woman didn't have $10,000 in her till, so she gave Williams $4450 in a white envelope.

And cool as a cucumber, he left.

Police located him about a week later at a hairdresser's, where he was getting his hair straightened.

Mr Wallis said Williams spent about $1100 of the money on rent, pyjamas for his mother and cigarettes.

More than $2000 was in the glove box of his car. He said the robbery was extremely unsophisticated and clearly motivated by Williams's financial troubles. 

Defence barrister Ross LoMonaco said his client had worked as a carer for aged people for 11 years.

However, he lost that job after this offence.

He said Williams had lived with his mother, but moved out last year.

"He finds it difficult to accept he even did this," Mr LoMonaco said.

A psychological report tendered to the court revealed Williams had poor problem-solving abilities.

Judge Michael Shanahan said the case was an "extremely unusual type of robbery".

He therefore concluded it was reasonable to release him on immediate parole.

Outside the court, Williams's mother said she was very relieved. "All we can do is just give God the glory and give Him thanks," she said.  



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