Westpac bank robber sentenced to nine years behind bars

UPDATE 7.15PM: JUDGE Clare this afternoon sentenced Westpac Bank robber John Robert Cole to nine years behind bars, with parole eligibility on December 21, 2021. 

Judge Clare told Cole he was no longer young.

"This isn't some youthful aberration, you have a long history which includes robbery as well as other substantial offending," C

"In fact, the present robbery was committed only a couple of months after you were released on parole. 

"It seems you have spent a large portion of the last 16 years either committing crime or serving sentences. 

"Previous courts have considered evidence of mental health issues, the depression and post traumatic stress disorder - there is however no suggestion that you were impaired at the time of this robbery. 

"Court have tried orders of supervision and various terms of imprisonment. You were not deterred by any of it. Today you can only be sentenced for the robbery at Westpac in January 2015, not the crimes of your past. Today's sentence must be proportionate to the criminality of that last robbery. 

"This was a single, but serious robbery. It was neither impulsive nor bumbling or hopeless. It showed nothing of the dis-organisation of offenders who are intoxicated or psychotic. This robbery was considered and executed with some confidence. 

"Vulnerable bank staff were traumatised, a substantial amount of money was stolen and not recovered. 

"That conduct must be condemned in clear terms. Protection of the community, protection of bank staff in particular, requires imprisonment of sufficient length to show other would-be robbers that the money is not worth the risk. 

"Unfortunately, your past suggests the only effective way to deter you, is to lock you up. Allowances have been made for your personal circumstances in the past, efforts to rehabilitate have failed.

"The primary focus must be protection for others." 

UPDATE 3.30PM: A JURY has found John Robert Cole guilty of armed robbery.

The 33-year-old entered the Westpac Bank at Stockland Rockhampton in January and stole $10,000.

The case was adjourned until later this afternoon for expected sentencing.


1PM: THE jury has retired in a trial against an alleged armed bank robber to deliberate its verdict in the Rockhampton District Court.

John Robert Cole has pleaded not guilty to one count of armed robbery after the Westpac Bank at Stockland Rockhampton was robbed of close to $10,000 in January.

Cross-examination finished yesterday with Judge Clare delivering closing statements earlier this morning.

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