Michael Gordon Gilmont has been charged with robbing the Sarina Hotel and the Woolworths Caltex at Ooralea.
Michael Gordon Gilmont has been charged with robbing the Sarina Hotel and the Woolworths Caltex at Ooralea. Contributed

Ex-top cop charged with armed holdup

NEW information reveals the man charged with the armed holdup of the Sarina Hotel - in which $30,000 was allegedly stolen and an employee tied up - is a retired police detective.

Michael Gordon Gilmont, 58, a former Queensland police officer, allegedly pulled a knife on staff at the hotel last month.

The former policeman, who worked for north Brisbane CIB and the licensing squad, allegedly entered the back of the pub, walked behind the bar and pulled the knife from his pocket.

Police claim he then took the manager to the safe room, put a pair of gloves on and placed money into a pillow slip.

Wearing a balaclava, baseball cap and glasses, he also allegedly tied the staff member's hands together with a cable tie.

Other staff ran from the hotel to a nearby newsagency - which is run by a former police officer - who called the local police.

Police, stationed just 200m away, arrived within minutes and confronted the man as he tried to flee the pub.

The incident last month has shocked the small town of about 5000, south of Mackay.

"He was a talented footy player, a good cop," a source said.

An experienced detective, Gilmont investigated numerous crimes including the armed holdup of a Hendra post office and the armed robbery of an 80-year-old woman by a masked bandit, both in 1990. He is understood to have medically retired in 1994 then worked as a private investigator.

Gilmont has been charged with robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon, unlawfully detaining a man and one charge of robbery.

He appeared in Mackay Magistrates Court and has been remanded in custody.

A mention has been listed for September 14.

He is also charged with robbing a Woolworths Caltex petrol station at Ooralea, in Mackay.

THOMAS CHAMBERLIN



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