Bungling CBD armed robber jailed for frightening crime spree
IN BROAD daylight, Wayne Robert Kent went into a Bundaberg CBD bank and post office pretending to be armed with a gun to steal money.
Today Kent, 48, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court to one count of attempted armed robbery while pretending to be armed and another charge of armed robbery.
Crown prosecutor Steven Dickson told the court on February 10 this year Kent went into the Commonwealth Bank on Bourbong St at about 1.30pm.
The court heard Kent went up to the concierge and told her he was going to rob the bank and that he was armed with a gun.
Kent then grabbed her by the neck and pushed her towards the teller where he demanded money and threatened to shoot one of them in the head if they did not comply.
The branch manager told Kent that money could not be withdrawn from the tills as they were locked and could only be opened during a transaction.
The duress alarm was activated at the bank.
Kent continued to demand money but was told the tills were locked again by the manager.
He then left the bank and was seen riding away on a bike - but it didn't stop there.
Mr Dickson told the court Kent then went to the post office down the road where he again demanded he be given money.
Kent went over to the concierge and said he was going to rob the place and he was armed with a gun - he said he was serious.
The concierge went into a secure area where he pressed the duress button.
Kent went over to one of the cashiers and pushed a customer out of the way before demanding money and saying he had a gun.
The woman behind the counter thought he was joking and asked to see the gun with Kent replying he was serious.
The woman gave Kent $3025 from the till.
He then went to the next counter and told the woman behind it to hurry up and was given $2180, he was given another $2265 at the next counter.
Kent made off with a total of $7470.
Mr Dickson told the court the next day on February 11, Kent called Policelink saying he wanted to hand himself in and he was later arrested.
The court heard Kent told police he only had some memory of what happened and then made admissions.
$6480 of the sum of money was recovered, some of which was buried in a garden.
Two of the victims involved were present in the court room.
Kent's barrister Callan Cassidy described his client's offending as "spectacularly unsophisticated and poorly executed".
Mr Cassidy told the court Kent made no effort to disguise himself and his face could be seen on CCTV.
He said his client also rode his bike between the two businesses in full view with no disguise.
Mr Cassidy told the court Kent was also recognised by both bank and post office staff as being a customer previously.
He said his client had gone through a rough time in the lead up to the offending.
Mr Cassidy told the court the day before a family matter in court was adjourned with Kent not allowed to see his child.
He said Kent and his sister had also had a falling out after renovating a home together resulting in him losing the money he put towards the renovations.
Judge Jennifer Rosengren took into account Kent's plea of guilty came at an early opportunity and accepted it was a sign of his remorse and co-operation.
Judge Rosengren accepted the offending was unsophisticated and poorly executed.
She also took into account Kent's personal circumstances in the lead up to the offences.
"Offences of armed robbery against innocent people going about their jobs do warrant deterrent sentences," she said.
"Even though you may not have been disguised and you were not holding a gun, it must have still been an extremely concerning experience for these cashiers involved."
Kent was sentenced to a head sentence of four and a half years imprisonment.
197 days of pre-sentence custody was declared as time served.
Kent will be eligible for parole in May next year.