Man tells victim to 'have a nice day' after robbery with axe
ARMED with an axe, Jack Peter Willson robbed a Maryborough retail store in broad daylight in a bid to repay a drug debt.
The Maryborough man may have left his conscience at the door when he entered the Reject Shop on November 19 last year, but he still brought his manners.
He told the young female storeperson he intimidated to "have a nice day" as he fled after stealing $837.
He also told her to not worry because whatever he was stealing was "insured".
Judge David Andrews called the act "stupid" and "reckless" after it was recapped in Maryborough District Court on Tuesday.
"What was he thinking?" Judge Andrews questioned.
Dressed in a suit after spending about seven months in jail following his arrest, Willson pleaded guilty in court to armed robbery.
After Willson entered the store to commit the crime in November, Crown Prosecutor Melissa Wilson said he stood behind the store person holding the axe to his body while making demands for her to transfer money from the till to him.
Aged 32 at the time, Willson was identified through CCTV footage and arrested that same day.
Judge Andrews pointed out that no actual violence was used, and joked Willson seemed "quite nice about his demand."
"You've served about one day for every $3 that you took," Judge Andrews said.
Willson's defence barrister Paul Rutledge said that Willson slid back into old drug habits prior to the crime. "He got a debt to a drug dealer, who was threatening to cause serious damage to his family," Mr Rutledge said.
"(Willson) wasn't thinking clearly."
The court heard that Willson formerly owned a scrap metal business, but had to shut it in response to the drastically dropping prices of iron ore.
"It used to be $130 a tonne, and dropped to $10 a tonne," Mr Rutledge said.
Willson was sentenced to three-years imprisonment, with parole granted yesterday.
The father-of-three plans to go back to living with his family in Maryborough, gain employment, and get off drugs. Judge Andrews said an imprisonment term was vital to demonstrate to the severe consequences of committing such a crime, even if it was done politely.