Wheels of justice catch up to pushbike bandit

HE WASN'T armed and his getaway vehicle was a push bike, but that didn't stop Mervan Charles Cowan from robbing a bank.

Dressed in black, with dark sunglasses and a helmet on, Cowan entered the Capricornia Credit Union and slipped a note to the teller.

It read “Put the money in a bag” and warned her not to mess with him.

The teller asked if he was serious and when he told her he was she promptly obliged, emptying her cash draw into a bag and giving it to him.

He then left the store and pedalled away with $6365 in cash.

Cowan, 38, pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday.

His crime remained unsolved for almost a year after the robbery on January 21, 2009, but when police questioned Cowan about the incident that December, he immediately confessed.

Cowan said the only person he had confided in about the robbery was his brother-in-law, and assumed that he had contacted the police.

Barrister Jeff Clarke told the court Cowan was extremely remorseful for the robbery he committed when he was under extreme financial distress.

“He had broken up with his first wife, who had, in his words, ‘cleaned him out',” Mr Clarke said.

Mr Clarke said Cowan was in rental arrears, couldn't put food on table and had been served an eviction notice.

Cowan told police in an interview, “I had no food and I hadn't seen my kids for ages ... it's the lowest I've ever been.”

He wrote a letter to the court detailing his shame and remorse, saying he was sorry for what he had put his family and bank staff through.

Judge Michael Shanahan described the robbery as amateurish and said that such actions should be met with a term of imprisonment.

He sentenced Cowan to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, with parole date of February 4.



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