Girl robbed at knife­point

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A YOUNG man with a his­tory of rob­beries has been jailed af­ter steal­ing $ 200 at knife-point from a 13-year-old girl in a Palm Is­land ice-cream truck.

Bron­son Alexan­der John Nor­man, 20, pleaded guilty in the Townsville District Court yes­ter­day to state charges of break and en­ter with steal­ing and es­cap­ing cus­tody, plus a com­mon­wealth of­fence of breach­ing air­field se­cu­rity.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Dr An­thony Dil­lon said on Septem­ber 11, 2010, the de­fen­dant broke into the ice­cream truck us­ing a knife to jemmy open the lock while his face was cov­ered with a shirt.

How­ever, the owner had left his teenage daugh­ter in­side while he went on an er­rand. ‘‘ The girl stood in front of the till and he reached his hands be­hind her . . . but his shirt came loose and she recog­nised him as some­one she knew,’’ Dr Dil­lon said.

The pros­e­cu­tor said the of­fender was a pre­vi­ous cus­tomer who had been served twice that day and even re­marked to the owner ‘‘ this truck must make thou­sands of dol­lars’’.

The fa­ther re­turned to find $ 200 miss­ing and his daugh­ter in tears.

Pol i c e f o und t he d e f e ndant nearby but on Septem­ber 15, while at the Palm Is­land aero­drome to be trans­ported to the Townsville Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre, Nor­man ran off when a po­lice of­fi­cer let go of his shack­led hands to put the de­fen­dant’s bag in the plane. The de­fen­dant was found 10 days later and the hand­cuffs were miss­ing.

D e f e n c e l a w y e r V i v i a n n a Kee­gan con­ceded her client’s his­tory was lengthy in­volv­ing break- ins across Palm Is­land and Townsville. How­ever, she said most of­fences oc­curred over a few days in May 2010, dur­ing a ‘‘ crime spree’’.

Ms Kee­gan said her client, who had been drink­ing since he was 13 years old, was in­tox­i­cated at the time. ‘‘ He thought the van was empty and he was only in­tend­ing to get more al­co­hol,’’ she said.

Judge Stu­art Dur­ward s ai d Nor­man had a bad his­tory for some­one so young and ‘‘ owed’’ his fam­ily bet­ter than sim­ply be­ing an in­mate.

‘‘ Peo­ple are fed up with young men like you break­ing into homes, busi­ness and pub­lic util­i­ties.’’

Nor­man was given a pa­role re­lease date of Novem­ber 4, 2011, af­ter be­ing handed con­cur­rent sen­tences of two years for break and en­ter with steal­ing and three months for es­cap­ing cus­tody.

He was or­dered to pay back the $ 200 stolen from the ice-cream truck and $ 264 for the hand­cuffs.

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