Christmas Day armed robber receives prison sentence
An armed robber, who held up a North Rockhampton service station on Christmas Day in 2019 with a pruning saw, has been handed a prison sentence in court.
Paul James Ketchup, 22, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on December 15 to one count each of armed robbery and enter premises and commit an indictable offence.
Crown prosecutor Harriet Hall-Pearce said the victim, who was 22 years old at the time of the offence, was working as a customer service assistant at Caltex on Yaamba Rd, Park Avenue, when he heard the bell to the front door sound about 2am on December 25, 2019.
Ms Hall-Pearce said the victim saw the Ketchup’s face was uncovered and let him inside.
She said Ketchup asked for a pack of cigarettes and when the victim turned back around Ketchup was pointing a rusted pruning saw at him and said he “just needed the cash”.
She said the victim removed the till and emptied the contents into a black reusable shopping bag while Ketchup continued to point the saw.
She said Ketchup took the bag of cigarettes and cash and left the store.
She said the offending was captured on CCTV footage, which helped identify Ketchup and led to his arrest, where he made full admissions to police.
The court heard Ketchup was held in pre-sentence custody for 387 days.
Ms Hall-Pearce said it was a serious offence committed against a young and vulnerable employee on Christmas Day while he was alone at work at night.
“The community has a right to protected from these sorts of offences,” she said.
Barrister Maree Willey said her client had made no attempt to conceal his identity, nor were there any allegations of threats or violence.
Ms Willey said there was limited planning involved and described the offending as “unsophisticated”.
She said her client, who was unemployed, left home at 7pm after an argument with his partner left him “fairly stressed”.
She said he went out looking for cigarettes and found the bag he used to put the money in on the ground and the saw was taken from a house behind the service station.
She said $320 was given to her client, which was retrieved in full by police.
She said her client understood what he did was wrong and was apologetic for his actions.
Ketchup was sentenced to three years’ prison with immediate parole and 387 days declared as time served.
Criminal convictions were recorded.
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