Woman jailed for Dean St Bakery attempted armed robbery
IT WAS described as a ‘passive attempt at a robbery’, but it still landed one young woman in trouble.
Cheyenne Hope Conlon, 23, pleaded guilty on August 25 in Rockhampton District Court to one count of attempted armed robbery.
Crown prosecutor Matthew Sutton said Conlon entered the Dean St Bakery shortly after 5am on December 4, 2019, brandishing a small knife and demanded money from the only person in the shop – one of the owners.
He said the victim refused, Conlon asked once more for money but left as the victim walked towards a phone in the back.
Mr Sutton said the offending was captured on CCTV and Conlon was found near the bakery a short time later in possession of two knives.
Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco said the offending could be described as a passive robbery.
“It’s a robbery that barely makes it in the definition of a robbery,” he said.
He said the victim, 43, had arrived at work about 5am, spoke with some staff in the carpark who were leaving after doing a night shift, and entered the store.
Mr Lo Monaco said the woman left the door open as she was expecting more staff to arrive to start their shift.
He said the victim’s statement to police revealed she had gone to get coins for the cash register and when she returned, Conlon was standing there on the customer side of the tall counter.
Mr Lo Monaco said the victim asked Conlon if she could help her to which Conlon replied “give me the money in the till”.
He said it was at that point the victim noticed Conlon was holding the small knife – a 5cm blade with red handle – pointed towards the co-owner.
Mr Lo Monaco said the victim stated Conlon spoke quietly, in a manner that indicated she needed the money.
He said the victim told Conlon there was no money, to which Conlon replied she was in trouble and needed money.
Mr Lo Monaco said the victim shook her head and said no.
He said as the victim went to call police, Conlon left the store.
Mr Lo Monaco said his client had been through some hard times in recent years with her mother diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, her dad’s unexpected death from a heart attack in March 2019 and her mum’s death from cancer in July 2019.
He said Conlon had used methamphetamines prior to her mum’s diagnosis and turned to it heavily while she was helping her mum through treatment.
Mr Lo Monaco said due to her drug use, Conlon handed care of her three-year-old son to his biological father but hoped to rehabilitate from drug use and share care of the child in the future.
He said Conlon’s brother-in-law recently died by suicide, along with an aunt dying around the same time and maternal grandmother dying this year.
She has also recently received some initial mental health help, which includes a not-yet-confirmed diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Mr Lo Monaco said Conlon struggled to cope with all the loses and ended up losing contact with Sisters Inside and failing to report to police, which led to her bail being revoked and her being remanded in custody for a week before sentencing.
Judge Michael Burnett agreed with Mr Lo Monaco’s description of a passive robbery.
“This is probably one of the most passive robberies I’ve seen in a very long time,” he said.
Judge Burnett sentenced Conlon to two years and nine months prison, declared 70 days presentence custody and immediate parole release.
However, Conlon has outstanding matters in another court and she was remanded in custody while waiting for those to be resolved.