Harley Steven Wildman tried to rob a Rockhampton taxi driver with a knife in one hand and a wooden spear in the other.
Harley Steven Wildman tried to rob a Rockhampton taxi driver with a knife in one hand and a wooden spear in the other.

‘Terrified’: Taxi driver threatened with spear, knife

A MAN who tried to rob a Rockhampton taxi driver with a knife in one hand and a wooden spear in the other, will be eligible for parole in June.

Harley Steven Wildman, 29, was sentenced in the District Court at Rockhampton on Thursday after pleading guilty to attempted armed robbery.

In July last year Wildman, in the early hours of the ­morning, hailed a taxi at the Allenstown shopping centre to go to his residence which was nearby.

Upon arrival at the house, Wildman seemingly reached into a bag to get money to pay the fare, but instead turned towards the taxi driver armed with a knife and a 20cm long sharp-edged wooden stick.

Wildman pointed the stick at the driver and demanded "where is the money, give me the money".

The terrified taxi driver got out of the vehicle and started running up Upper Dawson Rd.

Wildman chased him.

The driver made it to a cyclist and having seen this, Wildman turned and started running away.

The cyclist tried to follow Wildman who managed to disappear from view.

Police tracked down Wildman after reviewing footage of the incident which was captured on a CCTV camera.

During his sentencing, Wildman also pleaded guilty to an enter premises with intent charge and possessing dangerous drugs - those offences were not related to the attempted armed robbery.

The court heard that Wildman had an extensive criminal history, from New South Wales and Queensland, and had been appearing in courts since he was 18.

In Queensland his crimes mainly related to assaults and drug possession.

South of the border, his offending included assault occasioning bodily harm, common assault, entering a building with a firearm and robbery of a pizza delivery driver.

Judge Michael Burnett noted that Wildman had only been out of jail a very short time when the incident involving the Rockhampton taxi driver happened.

"Which suggests that prison didn't have a particularly strong deterrent effect upon you," Mr Burnett said.

The judge also noted that Wildman had experienced a disadvantaged upbringing.

Mr Burnett said while there was no actual violence against the taxi driver, that should not diminish the fact that the threatening with two weapons would have been "particularly confronting".

"Let me say quite plainly, the community expects this sort of behaviour to be denounced in the strongest possible terms," he said.

"Taxi drivers, as has been said by other courts, perform what is a not particularly well remunerated job, commonly at unsociable hours, to provide a very essential public service.

"This sort of offending simply flies in the face of what is otherwise already a difficult job, and makes things even more unattractive for those that seek to undertake this sort of employment."

Wildman, a former barrier attendant, meatworker and trolley pusher, had spent seven and a half months in pre-sentence custody.

He was given a head sentence of two years and nine months' jail, with a parole release date of June 17.



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