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Armed robbers jailed for hotel hold up

CCTV footage from the armed robbery at the East End Hotel, Bundaberg.
CCTV footage from the armed robbery at the East End Hotel, Bundaberg. Contributed

LENGTHY jail sentences have been handed to two men who used a crow bar to smash their way into and rob two pub workers at gunpoint.

Jake Harold Norman Phillips, 27 and Robert Nicholas Wilson, 46, drove a stolen Nissan Navara to the East End Hotel in Bundaberg and parked in the car park in the early hours of September 12 in 2014.

Maroochydore District Court this morning heard the men were caught on CCTV unsuccessfully trying to open a wooden door before they smashed their way in through a glass sliding door.

There were two staff members in the bar. The last of the patrons had left only a short time earlier.

Crown prosecutor Claire Kelly said Wilson pointed the rifle at both of the staff members, telling them to get on the ground.

The robbers were told there was some money on the bar and the safe was open.

They fled with more than $22,000 in cash and caused about $7000 in damage.

Their co-accused Justin Aaron James Lecauteur, 27, also fronted Maroochydore District Court for supplying the stolen car, which he drove from Cairns to Bundaberg in the lead-up to the robbery.

Police recovered $2398.60 when they searched a Bargara hotel two days after the robbery and subsequently arrested the men.

 

There is no doubt this must have been a frightening experience for both staff members  

Defence barrister Katarina Prskalo, who represented Phillips, said her client had started using the drug ice in 2013.

She said the robbery was committed to pay off a drug debt.

Wilson's defence barrister Jason Todman tendered a psychological report that detailed his client's traumatic childhood.

He said his client was capable of gaining employment and had skills as an artist and tattooist.

Defence barrister Rob Glenday, who appeared for Lecauteur, said his client had friends in Cairns and planned to move there once released.

Judge Gary Long said it was a serious example of an armed robbery.

"There is no doubt this must have been a frightening experience for both staff members," Judge Long said.

Phillips was sentenced to seven years in jail for the armed robbery, with 561 days of pre-sentence custody declared as time already served.

He was set a parole eligibility date of January 15, next year.

Wilson's sentence was added to a sentence he received in the Supreme Court for a drug matter.

He was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail, with 120 days of pre-sentence custody declared as time served.

Wilson will be eligible for parole on October 15, 2018.

Meanwhile, Lecauteur was sentenced to two years and six months in jail for being an accessory to the robbery.

He had 427 days of pre-sentence custody declared as time already served.

Judge Long set a parole release date of April 29.

Topics:  armed robbery bundaberg east end hotel pub sunshine coast


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